Instagram Trademark Report Webform

Brand Protection & Content Protection
-Takedown Guides-


Instagram Trademark Protection
A Guide To The Instagram Trademark Takedown Webform

Instagram – the photo-sharing lifestyle social network. Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012 for one billion dollars, which now looks a bargain price given Instagram is valued at over 100 billion dollars. Instagram has evolved from being just a photo-sharing app, with the social media platform supporting video content and facilitating more personal connections through Instagram Stories.


Instagram is a highly engaging platform which gained popularity with millennials and Gen Z as Facebook grew into the monolithic social network in most parts of the world, with the notable exception of China. Features such as video content and Stories have been added with minimal clutter to the clean, simple user-interface users of Instagram grew accustom to.


Given the visual nature of the platform, Instagram is able to quickly grab the attention of users with carefully crafted posts. As such, Instagram has been heavily used by brands for marketing, but also content creators and SMEs to gain a following. The popularity of the platform in certain categories, specifically fashion, cosmetics, luxury, jewellery and home furnishing has not gone unnoticed by counterfeiters and brand abusers. Instagram is one of the most popular platforms used by merchants of knock-offs, deploying a variety of tactics to draw traffic away from legitimate channels and accounts.


The other major brand risk is lookalike accounts. It is extremely common to find Instagram accounts which aim to cause confusion by using popular brand names offering counterfeits, or driving traffic to competitors and even accounts involved in phishing scams. Official Instagram accounts are also often hacked, with attackers using the official account to access personal data of users to exploit before the brand has effectively reacted to reclaim the account. Social media security is vital in the modern, hyper fast and hyper social digital economy. Brand owners and content creators must include Instagram in their brand protection strategy to keep the platform operational for marketing and brand building and to protect customers from counterfeiters and scammers.


The focus of this guide is how-to submit a notification for trade mark infringement using the Instagram online webform – “Trademark Report Form”. Unsurprisingly, the Instagram webform closely follows the format of the Facebook webform for consistency across the digital rights protection tools offered by Facebook companies.


To report counterfeits, see:

A Guide To The Instagram Counterfeit Takedown Webform

-or for copyright infringement:

A Guide To The Instagram Copyright Takedown Webform


It is vital to note that the trade mark form is distinct from the webform for submitting a takedown request for a counterfeit item. Reporting a counterfeit item must go through the “Counterfeit Report Form” – although the two webforms follow the same structure.


Use the “Trademark Report Form” for all trade mark violations except counterfeiting i.e. a Instagram Account which includes a registered trade mark in the account name causing confusion to the source of the account. Use the “Counterfeit Report Form” to report the sale of knock-offs with the trade mark of the rights owner attached i.e. an Instagram post selling knock-off Nike trainers. The counterfeit report can also be used if the post mentions the trade mark but the image deliberately hides the mark on the product image


The trademark report webform mirrors the “Copyright Report Form”, including the confirmation declaration, which is based on the DMCA notice and takedown process. Instagram, again like Facebook, has been riddled with fake and bot accounts – significant engineering resource from Instagram (and Facebook) is put into reducing such abusive accounts as they have been identified as a core cause of content governance issues. Instagram has cracked down on accounts not complying with their own Terms of Service, with IPR protection taken seriously by the platform. Reported infringements submitted via the webform are typically processed within 48 hours. Click here to access the webform.

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The “Trademark Report Form” start page is to confirm the reporter does want to file a trade mark notification by selecting the “I found content which I Believe infringers my trademark”. Selecting any other option links the reporter to the relevant form i.e. form for submitting copyright infringement notification or to the help centre for support regarding the specified issue. Instagram has a large section dedicated to intellectual property rights focusing on trade marks and copyrights which can be found here. The link to the section is also displayed when selecting the copyright option at the start of the process.

After selecting the trade mark option the reporter is also presented with the choice to “Continue with my trademark report” or an option for reporting counterfeit items. Selecting the counterfeit items option directs the reporter to the relevant page. Once the reporter selects the continue report option, Instagram displays a message stating the serious nature of submitting a trade mark takedown request including the potential for account termination or even liability for damages caused if the report is made fraudulently or without due care.


Four sections are displayed:

  • Contact Information
  • Trademark Information
  • Content that you want to report
  • Declaration

Clicking the radio button under each heading expands the section, each must be completed to submit the trade mark notification.


Contact Information

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To submit a notification, the reporter must either select “Me or my organisation” or “My client” as noted in the requirements. Selecting the “Someone else” option brings a message to explain with a third party cannot report trade mark infringement via this form. If reporting as the rightsholder, the form will request the reporter’s name and “job responsibility” – which from the dropdown the reporter can choose “Owner”, “Legal Advisor” or two ‘other’ options. If reporting on behalf of a client the form will request the reporter’s name, organisation name and “Your relationship to the rights owner”. After selecting the appropriate option in the dropdown menu under relationship, all the other contact information needs to be completed. The postal address can be for the organisation reporting if on behalf of a client. The box requesting “Name of the rights owner” can either be a person’s name of organisation’s name. The last box in this section requests “Please provide a link to the rights owner’s official online presence.” – in the form of a URL. The reporter can include a social media page of the trade mark owner or the ecommerce store.


Trademark Information

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This section requires the trade mark registration information to be provided, including name, country of registration, registration number, category of goods and/or services covered, a URL to the registration and to attach copies of the registration documents. It is advised to provide the link to the registration and attach a copy of the registration document as it assists the review process. Failure to provide can delay the processing of the notification. The final option in this section is a tick box if the reporter has additional trade marks which are relevant to the report. Up to five additional trade mark registrations can be added to the notice. It is advised to report infringements of the same mark together in a single report to avoid potential confusion and delay in processing of the notification. However, in some circumstances, such as when the trade marks infringed are figurative, it may be beneficial to include more than one trade mark.


Content that you want to report

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The options provided are vital to counterfeit reports. Multiple options can be ticked in combination in a single report, however, misidentifying the content can delay the review of the notice or lead to Instagram requesting further information be provided. The first option is to report infringing “Photo or video”. The second option is to report “Caption or Comment”, this should only be used if no infringement is detected in the photo but the user is clearly trying to direct users towards counterfeit items in the caption or comment section. The third option “An entire account” is common for counterfeit reports but should only be used if the account is structurally infringing i.e. a high majority of the content is offering for sale counterfeit items and as such the reporter would like the account to be terminated. The final option “Username” is vital to the trademark form and should be selected if the account being reported is using a registered trade mark or terms designed to cause confusion with a brand name in bad faith. Selecting the username option also provides the addition tickbox below for the trade mark owner to recover the username by selecting “I would like to claim a username”. Generally, terminating an account is sufficient, only if the username is to be used by the brand owner should this option be selected.


The large box “Please provide links (URLS)…” enables bulk submission of infringing URLs. It is advised to only submit URLs infringing the same trade mark together in a notice to avoid confusion and potential delay in the processing of the notice. This part of the webform is where most errors occur as users struggle to find the correct URL to submit when using the Instagram app. If using the app, click the ‘burger icon’ – the three stacked grey dots (or horizontal dots on iOS) and then click copy link. Alternatively, use a browser to access Instagram and then navigate to the infringing account or post, then copy the URL from the search bar. It is advised to conduct searches via the app as Instagram is optimised for the app environment, therefore the delivery of content through the mobile app is vital to monitor.


The final option in this section requests the reporter to “Please describe how you believe this content infringes your trademark rights.”. It is advised to provide a detailed description of the infringement, including comparisons of the registered trade mark and the mark being reported, noting if identical. The reporter is also advised to state how the use of the trade mark is an infringement as not all uses constitute trade mark infringement – causing confusion with the original trade mark is typically cited in this section of the webform.



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The final section has two radio buttons, however agreeing to the declaration has legal consequences which are displayed beneath the option. Submitting the takedown request is a serious legal process. it is advised to carefully read the statements agreed to by clicking the option, which are – the reporter has good faith belief the use of the trade mark is not authorised, that the notice is accurate and under the penalty of perjury the reporter is authorised to submit the notice. Select “Yes” and then the reporter must enter their full name as electronic signature. This must match the above box “Your name (name and surname)” exactly to submit the notice. To finish, click “Submit” and the trade mark takedown notice is sent for the infringing content to be removed, pending review.


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