Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Amazon scores victory against Pinterest over control of .pin

Pinterest loses its fight to keep Amazon from controlling the new top-level domain .pin.

Paul Sloan Former Editor
Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.
Paul Sloan
2 min read

Amazon.com, which earlier this week lost its bid to control the domain extension .amazon, has been handed a victory over another top-level domain: .pin.

The loser in this battle: social-networking site Pinterest, which, not surprisingly, didn't want Amazon controlling .pin. In March, Pinterest filed an objection with the World Intellectual Property Organization, arguing in part that domain names on .pin -- clothes.pin, say, or whatever Amazon has in mind -- would cause confusion around the term "pin."

But WIPO was unpersuaded, ruling that .pin is a generic term:

Pinterest has failed to prove that it owns rights in a PIN trademark; that Amazon's <.pin> gTLD creates an impermissible likelihood of confusion with any PIN mark Pinterest claims to own; that Amazon's applied-for <.pin> gTLD "unjustifiably impairs the distinctive character and reputation of" the alleged PIN mark; and that Amazon's applied-for <.pin> gTLD "takes unfair advantage of the distinctive character and reputation of" the alleged PIN mark.

Moreover, the WIPO ruling said that a number of Pinterest's trademark applications were filed after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN) so-called reveal day, when it became known that Amazon was going after .pin.

A Pinterest spokesperson said that the company is evaluating its next steps.

The domain extension doesn't automatically go to Amazon. This is the biggest expansion of the domain name system ever, after all, so it's not quick.

The .pin domain extension is one of scores that Amazon has applied to control as part of the ICANN expansion of the domain name system.

The big question -- as Andrew Allemann, who writes about the topic for Domain Name Wire pointed out -- is what does Amazon really want to do with .pin anyway?

An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.