Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media websites with millions of visitors each month. On Pinterest, users can pin things that they see on different websites and blogs and then organize their pins by topic on boards. They can provide access to their boards to other users, and follow other users who have similar interests. The Pinterest app allows users to pin things from their mobile phones and iPads.
For intellectual property owners, Pinterest raises a variety of copyright and trademark issues. Pinterest has a policy on its website which indicates that it “respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects its users to do the same.” Pinterest also claims in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, it will disable or terminate accounts of users who are infringing the intellectual property rights of others. And it provides a complaint form to report alleged abuses.
With the growth of social media websites like Pinterest, copyright and trademark owners need to remain vigilant as they work to protect their intellectual property rights. Owners need to keep current on the technology that is available and understand the benefits that websites like Pinterest can have in terms of driving traffic to their business. The goal is to take advantage of the benefits while still working to protect their intellectual property rights. —Kristan B. Burch