INSTAGRAM SUES ALLEGED TYPOSQUATTERS, SAYS THEY WANT TO INVALIDATE THE SALE OF INSTAGRAM.COM

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Instagram LLC is suing the family that allegedly sold it the Instagram.com domain.

In a complaint filed Jan. 13, Instagram alleges violations of the federal cybersquatting statute and seeks a declaration that the purchase agreement for Instagram.com was valid.

Zhou Murong and her family have registered approximately 75 typosquatting domain names of the INSTAGRAM mark, Instagram claimed.  An arbitration panel ordered the transfer of 22 of those domains back to Instagram, but the transfer has yet to happen.

The family instead filed a “sham” complaint in a Chinese court challenging the validity of the Instagram.com purchase agreement, Instagram said.

According to Instagram, this challenge—brought four years after the agreement was executed—was merely a bad-faith attempt to nullify Instagram’s bona fide purchase of the domain.

Instagram said it acquired the domain name from Murong back in 2011 for $100,000.

 “The Chinese Case is a sham proceeding and nothing more than yet another attempt to invalidate the Agreement so that Defendants can take control of a domain name in which they have no legitimate interest and extort money from Instagram now that Instagram has grown into one of the most popular brands in the world,” said Instagram.