Robinhood Stock vs. Instagram Stock: Can you win?

Written by Ewa Nepstec, for CNN

On Thursday, US District Judge Jesse Furman dismissed a potential class action suit against Robinhood, arguing that Instagram did not infringe on StockSnap’s trademark by calling its feature Robinhood Stock.

The case against Instagram and its parent company Snap is still pending and Robinhood has vowed to keep fighting.

“We are pleased with the court’s dismissal of this unfounded claim,” the app said in a statement Thursday. “We continue to believe that StockSnap’s claims do not have merit and are confident that they will ultimately be dismissed.”

A lawyer for Robinhood called the StockSnap trademark a “fraudulent and/or misleading mark.” SharesSnap is “an acronym to convey nothing about the service itself,” he said.

Robinhood Stock gives users access to stock market data and stock quotes, without commission charges. StockSnap, by contrast, is a free trading platform where users trade individual securities as well as ETFs.

Instagram stock selfies have been cause for chuckles among market experts ever since they appeared in January.

Last week, Robinhood and Instagram announced an agreement allowing Robinhood users to access Instagram through the app’s Discover section. Robinhood users must already have accounts with Instagram to do so.

Snap, Snap, Snap! What has its stock price shot up over the past few months, and how is it affected by Robinhood Stock?

(Note: The jury pool for the case is no longer confidential, and in response to a request from CNNMoney, Robinhood’s lawyers unsealed the original individual complaint in question.)

What has the Robinhood stock emoji meant for Snap?

Jeff Caplan, a media law expert at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, said the case helps solidify Robinhood’s use of the emoji to refer to its stock app.

Since Snap went public in March, the stock has taken a tumble and the company is now down over 40% from its IPO price.

“Going into this action, the message here was that Instagram is doing some kind of dissimilar thing to Snap,” said Caplan. “Some of the claims were potentially very damaging to them.”

Caplan said the emoji is now firmly in the bullseye of share lawsuits against other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.

“It was ‘Eyes Shut’ during the trial, and then suddenly there was this Robinhood emoji in everyone’s feed,” said Caplan. “And it became of the main talking points, really in terms of the class action seeking further damages.”

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