Twitpic to shut down after Twitter calls trademark breach

5 Sep 2014

Twitpic, the popular photo-sharing app used on the microblogging site Twitter, is to shut down on 25 September after Twitter filed a trademark lawsuit over its name.

Twitpic first launched in 2008 as an easier means of uploading pictures to Twitter. Now its founder Noah Everett has posted a message to the site’s blog criticising the lawsuit, and claiming Twitpic had passed this particular trademark hurdle in 2009.

It appears Twitter has become impatient with the similarity in Twitpic’s name and design and, according to Everett, Twitter’s lawyers asked Twitpic to abandon its trademark application or face losing access to its API.

Everett also said the Twitpic team does not have the financial muscle to fight any legal battle with Twitter and will cease operating by the end of the month. He describe the decision as “an unexpected and hard announcement for us to make and we want to lay out what led us to this decision”.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, despite its actions effectively closing the service, a Twitter statement said it is sad to see Twitpic shut down.

“We’re sad to see Twitpic is shutting down.

“We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name. Of course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes trademarks tied to the brand.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic