Feeds

Twitter contests ad company's 'tweets' trademark

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

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.