(UPDATE 28/7: Well, that was quick. Pinwheel has now become Findery. You can read the announcement in this blogpost)
I’ve written about Caterina Fake’s new start-up Pinwheel on this blog before. The location-based service for leaving notes and photos has been in beta testing for the past few months, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using it.
But the platform’s steady progress towards a public launch has hit a bump in the road, in the form of a legal ruling from a New York court. A judge issued a preliminary injunction against the use of the term Pinwheel, following a complaint from an older but lesser-known photo-sharing service called Pinweel. The full story is at Techcrunch here, and the ruling can be read in full here. Pinwheel has responded by reverting to the moniker 2bkco, which is the name of the company itself.
Although it’s just an initial injunction which could be overturned at a later hearing, Marketing Land’s Greg Sterling argues here that 2bkco would be better served just finding a new name and moving on. After all, the service hasn’t yet been launched and so the damage from a rebranding exercise would be relatively minimal.
I’m inclined to agree with that analysis. Admittedly, 2bkco/Pinwheel has the considerable reputation of Fake (of Flickr and Hunch fame) and a good deal of Silicon Valley cash at its disposal. But that personal and financial capital would be much better spent on the business of continuing to build a quality product and a community to use it, rather than on a potentially lengthy legal battle with uncertain prospects of success.
In the meantime, you can request an invite from the 2bkco/Pinwheel homepage.