LinkedFA, a social networking site designed specifically for financial advisors, is fighting a trademark infringement opposition filed by LinkedIn over the use of the word “linked.”
According to an Aug. 29 blog post written by linkedFA CEO Jason Bishara, LinkedFA has been fighting LinkedIn over the use of the word since October 2010, when LinkedIn filed an opposition challenging linkedFA’s trademark application.
“They believe they own the word ‘linked’ and believe this is enough of a material event to warrant action to prevent ‘damages’ to their company,” wrote Bishara in his blog post, “Are Social Media Giants, Like LinkedIn, Sabotaging the Industry?”
LinkedIn responded to requests from AdvisorOne for comment with the following statement: “We believe strongly that their name poses a significant risk that consumers will mistakenly believe that their product is endorsed by or associated with LinkedIn, which it is not. Like any trademark owner, LinkedIn is taking the appropriate steps to protect our members and safeguard our brand.” Bishara also claimed that LinkedIn has unsuccessfully attempted to shut down LinkedFA’s access to their application programming interface (API), which allows the two sites’ software programs to communicate with each other.
“LinkedFA is nothing like LinkedIn and if I were them I would embrace linkedFA because the content created on our site could be very valuable to their members,” Bishara wrote. “The financial community faces significant challenges concerning industry regulations that no other social media site addresses. Through linkedFA, financial professionals can utilize real time communications both to our site, and to other major networks, all while maintaining compliance through archiving and monitoring.”
LinkedFA, based in Miami, was started up in 2009 and puts its number of registered users at about 10,000. LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, Calif., numbers 115.8 million members and on Aug. 4 announced second-quarter results showing a 120% increase in revenue, at $121 million, compared with the same period a year ago. LinkedIn launched an initial public offering in May.
Read LinkedFA Social Network for Advisors Launches Mobile Site at AdvisorOne.com