A UK tech firm is taking on the might of US social media giant Meta as it threatens legal action over Instagram’s use of a trademarked name.

Threads Software Limited and its lawyers have written to Meta’s Instagram, giving it 30 days to stop using the name Threads for its service in the UK. 

If it does not, Threads Software Limited said it will seek an injunction from the English Courts.

Threads – an intelligent message hub provided by Threads Software Limited – was conceived and trademarked in 2012 by JPY Ltd. The service has been actively promoted worldwide since 2014.

Threads is a cloud-based service that captures, transcribes, and organises all of a company’s digital messages – emails and phone calls – into one searchable database. It says it is able to provide high-quality transcriptions by extracting VoIP call and routing data at much greater resolution than most call recording systems.

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In 2018, the first commercial sale was made in the USA, and as a result JPY Ltd spun off a new company, Threads Software Ltd. It has since licenced nearly 1,000 organisations worldwide with sales currently growing at 200% a year.

The company claims that from April this year, Meta’s lawyers made four offers to purchase the domain threads.app from it. Threads Software Ltd declined every offer and says “it was made clear to Meta’s Instagram that the domain was not for sale”.

In July 2023, Meta’s Instagram announced its ‘threads’ social media platform. It also removed Threads Software Limited from its Facebook platform, according to the UK business.

“Taking on a $150 billion company is not an easy decision for us to make,” said Dr John Yardley, managing director of Threads Software Ltd. “We have invested 10 years in our platform, establishing a recognised brand in the name, Threads. Our business now faces a serious threat from one of the largest technology companies in the world.

“We recognise that this is a classic ‘David and Goliath’ battle with Meta. And whilst they may think they can use whatever name they want, that does not give them the right to use the Threads brand name.

“We want them to stop using the Threads name with immediate effect. If they do not, we will seek an injunction from the UK courts.”

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