Legal Issues with my Username (being Threatened)

This morning I received a DM from a business telling me that my Instagram username is the same name a their registered company and that what I stated in my bio is also their same business model.

They are now threatening me saying if I must change it because using a copied name is a infringement of the law. I was also told by them that I only have one week to do this before they take the matter further.

Can someone please let me know if I can get in any sort of trouble from this? I feel like they just want the username. Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Ask for proof that they have indeed registered the name and for which purpose/activity. If they provide valid proof then you could check in which country they have registered (only huge brands can afford to register world wide) and argue that you can do you think in any other country, but since IG is seen by people all around the world, regardless of were you are posting from, that can be a hard argument to win.

I’m assuming you didn’t know about them when you created the account. If you did… well, that’s just looking for bad karma :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I think they need more then just a business registration they also need a trademark, is that correct?

Also I’m pretty sure they are in the US and I am in Canada. So if they are registered in the us does that mean I’m still protected because I am in canada?

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You will never legally be in trouble. Instagram is worldwide. The company will have to present a trademark to Instagram and ‘maybe’ get a response. Worst case is your account is taken.


As far as I know trademarks work per country and per business type. If you register the name “nirvana” for your restaurant in Canada someone can still open a repair shop called “nirvana” because it’s a different type of business. Someone could also open a restaurant with the same name in Argentina, because your trademark is only for Canada. Things of course get more complicated for digital businesses.

Also, when you trademark a brand, at least when I’ve done so, you never trademark it for just one country, there are “packages” already made, so for a fixed price you can get your trademark in all the UE countries for example. Being Canada and the US neighbors I would assume if they have the trademark for the US they will also have it for Canada and Mexico at least, because those are the neighbor countries and because there is probably a “north America” pack.

Like @mrsmith said, it is unlikely they will actually take legal action against you, that’s expensive and usually not worth it. Just consider how would you feel if you were on the other side of the equation. If you had the trademark for the brand and they were using it in the US, would that bother you?

In any case, I’m not a lawyer, I’m just talking from my experience having had to trademark a few brands over the years.


Thanks for all the reccomendations

Yea your right about this I just got upset because there first message was a threat. If they reached out nicely stating the problem it would be different. Either way ill sort it out with them and get this resolved.

Thanks for the response!

Dude dont be a pssy, DM back & say "Fck you*


If these guys would have a balls :wink: And the company is really huge and powerful, they will contact the social network directly, provide some docs aka trademark registry and the other common data.Then will get the needed usernames. Otherwise, they can do nothing. So you have nothing to worry about


In addition to the points above, they should just go for the verification badge instead of bullying another business for a simple username lol

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I believe it depends on your account and its activity. I was able to claim silent for years nonsense account for registered brands. So i think the worst you’ll risk is your username (unlikely) get taken and you get a knockoff like brandname1 or brandname_

Since you got the account before their registration i dont believe you can even get in trouble. You havent been impersonating AFTER the registered it.

I believe they just try to push you into name changing so they can claim it. Dont worry about it. If they want to pay big bucks and you dont mind then go for it. If not keep it and let them sort it out with IG (if they even care enough. I’m sure they will make effort for real multinationals but not for startups or smaller companies.


Posting consistently on a daily basis.
The account is at 30k all grown by shoutouts from my main 1m+ and 300k pages

To put it into perspective the brand who messaged me only has 200k followers, and nothing unique or special to offer. So there just another online business


Unless you actually impersonate their brand on purpose, simply do not reply and let it go.

  • If they are right, they will have to follow a long process to take you down, going through Instagram, and the odds they win are very low anyway.

  • If they are not right, you don’t have to do anything to do and worry about. Keep on moving forward on your journey.

I hope it helps. Peace.


Tell them your business is registered too (in another country than the one they operate in).
Threaten them with a counter suit and they should back off.
You could also offer to sell the username.
If they do win the username in a legal dispute, you “could” send them a bunch of fake followers just to mess with them (do at your own risk).

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Sounds like a scam to me. Don’t comply with what they’re requesting as they don’t have the authority in this situation to force you to do that. I would stop replying and have them take it up with Instagram if they want to. I’m certain you would never hear anything from them.

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This reminds me of a small Dutch fast food restaurant called Wendy’s. The owner named his restaurant for his daughter.

This is what Wendy’s looks like in Europe: A hole-in-the-wall chippie run by some brute Dutch sailors with a serious case of stick-it-to-the-man-itis. It’s the reason a certain billion-dollar, red-headed American fast food chain has been kicked off the continent.

The whole story you can read on:

I think you have nothing to worry about if you are in another country.