Don’t be alarmed, but at this very moment, a Chinese man might be registering the Italian domain for your ultra-hot startup.
GigaOm reports that one dude is buying up “dozens” of URLs suspiciously like those of up-and-coming U.S. startups. Nor is Nanjing resident Qian Jin merely registering domains like Pinterests.com, Pinterest.it, and Pilnterest.com. (We assume that last one is part of a plan to launch a Pinterest clone devoted to the appreciation of pilsners.) He’s also applied for trademarks that might sound awfully familiar–think Foursquare and Instagram.
Both of those things could create major headaches for a company eyeing eventual global expansion.
Well, Pinterest, for one, has had enough. GigaOm says the company filed suit last week:
Qian’s activities are described in a lawsuit filed by Pinterest last week in San Francisco. In its complaint, the popular image site says the defendant is a “serial cyber-squatter who has registered and owns hundreds of infringing domain names.” The company points to Qian’s “Pinterests.com“, a site that uses red-lettering similar to Pinterest but that appears to be just a dumping ground for advertisements.
The complaint angrily accuses the man of attempting to “take unlawful advantage of Pinterest’s extraordinary popularity.”
So when are they going after all those clones?