Feeds

Twitter contests ad company's 'tweets' trademark

If you aren't a bird, you can't use our word

The essential guide to IT transformation

Twitter said that a trademark belonging to Twittad "threatens to block" it from registering "tweet" as its own "legitimate" mark, according to the company's legal submission to a district court in San Francisco.

Twittad owns the trademark "Let Your Ad Meet Tweets". It is a company that "offers online advertising services specifically for use on Twitter and in connection with Twitter's services," Twitter's legal filing said.

Twitter is a micro-blogging social network website that allows users to post messages up to 140 characters in length. These messages are called "tweets".

Twittad's trademark should be cancelled because it was registered for purposes the company does not use it for and because it exploits the popularity of Twitter, the social network said.

"Such use constitutes trademark infringement [under US trademark laws], given Twitter's prior use and widespread consumer recognition of the 'tweet' mark," Twitter's legal filing said.

"Use of 'Let Your Ad Meet Tweets' as a mark to identify Twittad as the source of any services identified in the registration would be likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of the parties' offerings," it said.

Under US trademark law, trademarks should not generally be issued if another mark exists and is therefore likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception.

Twitter said that it had placed "considerable investment" in the word "tweet" and had filed an application to trademark it to protect the investment and "goodwill" associated with the word. The company said that prior to its launch, "tweet" was only associated with "birdsong" but that it had become "widely adopted by consumers and media outlets to refer to Twitter" since.

Twittad's registered trademark would confuse consumers into thinking the 'Let Your Ad Meet Tweets' strapline belongs to Twitter's existing "family of marks", which include "Retweet" and "Tweetdeck", Twitter said.

"[Twittad's] ... registration 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 uses of its own mark," the social network's legal filing said.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.