Feeds

Twitter contests ad company's 'tweets' trademark

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

Boost IT visibility and business value

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
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.