ANNA

Taking down Instagram infringers

ANNA is one of the UK’s largest and most successful independent women’s fashion retailers. It obtained trade mark protection for its name and in respect of clothing, footwear and headgear back in 2001 and in respect of fashion retail in 2002. As well as having physical stores in London and the South East, ANNA has a large online presence at www.shopatanna.com and @shopatanna on Instagram and across social media.

Case Study

Case Type

Instagram account violation

Action

Seeking take-down of account

Outcome

Account removed/disabled

Alison Cole

By Alison Cole

Senior Trade Mark Attorney

Issue:

ANNA’s founder, Anna Parks, became aware of another Instagram page named @shopatanna.co and sent us a screenshot:

annaco-screenshot.jpg#asset:2983

We looked at the page and noted that the user had made 125 posts, accrued 81 followers and followed 342 other users. We advised that this didn’t seem to be a particularly popular account. The earliest (and majority) of posts were from September 2014 and some featured designer items similar to those stocked by ANNA. The posts all stated “DM (direct message) or WhatsApp to order” and prices were listed in Malaysian Ringgit. Furthermore, one or two posts requested “pick up only from Kuala Lumpur”.

Action:

As it isn’t easy to identify or locate an Instagram user, we advised that the best option was to report the account via Instagram’s take-down procedure. This is because we felt that the Instagram page could be confused with ANNA’s and the inclusion of potentially counterfeit designer goods could damage its reputation.

In the procedure we identified Anna Park Limited as the rights owner and provided a link to the rights owner's official online presence. We also provided details of Anna Park’s UK trade mark registration for ANNA in respect of fashion retail. We pointed out that the username of the account included the identical, distinctive element ANNA, as registered in respect of the identical services.

In addition, we noted that the username was virtually identical to ANNA’s domain name and website. Although at that point ‘shopatanna’ was not registered, we felt it necessary to point out how the ANNA mark was being used to emphasise the conflict.

Outcome:

The use of the identical or similar mark in respect of identical goods and services was clear trade mark infringement under all jurisdictions.

Within a few days we received notification that Instagram had removed or disabled access to the content we reported for violating the Instagram Terms of Use.

This quick and cost-effective solution ensured that ANNA’s brand reputation remained intact with minimum disruption to the business.

Need help dealing with a copycat or conflicting social media account?

Get in touch with Alison at ajc@udl.co.uk.

020 3904 3365

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