Twitter wants the ‘tweet’ trademark back

12 Sep 2011

Twitter is apparently suing a company called Twittad for the ‘tweet’ trademark. Twittad had the word trademarked as part of the company’s strapline in 2008: ‘let your ad meet tweets’. Twitter’s not happy.

According to the filing, Twitter feels Twittad unfairly “exploits the widespread association by the consuming public of the mark TWEET with Twitter and threatens to block Twitter from its registration and legitimate use of its own mark.”

Twitter goes further to suggest that the use of the word ‘tweets’ refers to advertising in connection with Twitter itself and therefore can’t be capable of serving as a trademark.

The social networking site, which last week reported 100m active users, said that prior to Twitter’s public existence, the ‘tweet’ mark was not generally known to the consuming public “beyond its dictionary meaning relating to birdsong and had no association with web-based social networking and communications services.”

Twitter also revealed it has applied for the tweet trademark.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years