In short, Twitter has filed a trademark application and in doing so they must attempt to defend the name if they hope to be awarded trademark protection. Twitter allowed its original application to lapse and refiled on April 29, 2009. http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4003:eq5aoa.2.5
If Twitter continues to allow developers to use its name without attempting to defend its use it will certainly be denied a trademark. Twitter will also have to inform other existing clients, like Twiterific and TwitterBerry, to cease and desist as well if it hopes for a success application. As an business owner I completely understand Twitter's position here. I'm hopeful however, that they will be equally as diligent in working with the development community to help apps succeed while staying in bounds of Twitter's needs and user expectations. Twitter is at a turning point where it is almost certain to crush a few developers in the process of rolling out its business model. It's a delicate balance, monetize while keeping the development community happy, attracting more "average" users, and keeping the power users "purists" happy. Should be fun to watch. Mike Langford CEO, Tweetworks LLC Tweet Me: @MikeLangford Email Me: m...@tweetworks.com On Aug 11, 10:48 pm, "Dean Collins" <d...@cognation.net> wrote: > Any other developer being sued by Twitter today? > > If so give me a call - feel free to tweet > outwww.MyTwitterButler.com/I'm_Being_Sued > <http://www.mytwitterbutler.com/I'm_Being_Sued> to anyone you want - > looking forward to the press having a field day with this. > > Regards, > > Dean Collins > d...@mytwitterbutler.com > <mailto:d...@mytwitterbutler.com?subject=i'm%20being%20Sued> > +1-212-203-4357 New York > +61-2-9016-5642 (Sydney in-dial). > +44-20-3129-6001 (London in-dial). > > ________________________________ > > From: Dean Collins > Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:37 PM > To: 'newtec...@meetup.com' > Subject: Twitter is Suing me!!! > > So not only are Twitter fighting battles with Russian hackers they are > now fighting their own third party API developer community !! > > I received this email 30 minutes ago stating that Twitter is suing me?? > > Basically they feel that my application -www.MyTwitterButler.com > <http://www.mytwitterbutler.com/> does the following. > > 1/ That anyone using the API to auto follow people are breaching the > TOS?? > > 2/ That no one can use the word "Twitter" in their domain > > 3/ That somehow people might be confused my application is related to > twitter even though every page is labeled > > "Copyright 2009 (c) My Twitter Butler - Not related in anyway to Twitter > Inc, if I owned Twitter would i be spending my time building this app?? > > Is this the end for Twitter 3rd party developers? > > Have they forgotten that it was people like me who saw a need and built > an application using the publicly defined Twitter API to add value to > the Twitter ecosystem? > > I have asked Twitters lawyers for a conference call tomorrow to clear up > 'WHY' they feel anyone using the twitter API to auto follow people is an > illegal act and will be looking forward to their answers about 'WHY' the > twitter API was built in the first place if they want to sue people for > using it. > > www.MyTwitterButler.com/I'm_Being_Sued > <http://www.mytwitterbutler.com/I'm_Being_Sued> > > Regards, > > Dean Collins > d...@mytwitterbutler.com > +1-212-203-4357 New York > +61-2-9016-5642 (Sydney in-dial). > +44-20-3129-6001 (London in-dial). > > FENWICK & WEST LLP > > SILICON VALLEY CENTER 801 CALI FORN IA STREET MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA 94041 > > TEL 650.988.8500 FAX 650.938.5200 WWW.FENWICK.COM > > August 11, 2009 > > KAREN WEBB > > VIA CERTIFIED MAIL AND EMAIL > > Dean Collins > > Attn: MyTwitterButler.com > > d...@cognation.net > > Re: Infringement of Twitter, Inc.'s Trademark Rights > > Dear Mr. Collins: > > EMAIL kw...@fenwick.com > > DIRECT DIAL (650) 335*7656 > > This firm represents Twitter, Inc. ("Twitter"), owner of the TWITTER > trademark and > > the popular social networking and micro-blogging website atwww.twitter.com. > We are > > contacting you regarding your violation of Twitter's Terms of Service > ("TOS") and spam > > rules, and your infringement of Twitter's trademark rights. > > Twitter has recently become aware that you have registered and are using > the > > MyTwitterButler.com domain, where you advertise and offer for sale the > "My Twitter Butler" > > software that facilitates aggressive and automatic following to Twitter > users. On your website > > you also claim to have used the same aggressive following techniques. > This activity violates > > Twitter's TOS and rules. > > In addition to the above violations, you are also infringing on > Twitter's trademark > > rights by using the MyTwitterButler.com domain and the TWITTER > trademark. As you are > > likely aware, Twitter's extensive and widespread use of its TWITTER > trademark provides > > Twitter with strong and defensible rights in the mark, and has caused > the mark to become > > well-known, if not famous, in today's online marketplace. Twitter owns > trademark > > applications and registrations for its mark in the United States and > numerous other countries > > for use in connection with its online services, which will provide > Twitter with exclusive rights > > in the mark. > > Twitter has expended significant time and financial resources to build > up the > > considerable customer recognition and goodwill related to its valuable > TWITTER mark. In > > addition, in order to protect its investment and valuable intellectual > property rights in its > > trademark, Twitter is required to prevent others from infringing or > diluting the value of its > > brand. In light of the importance and distinctiveness of the mark and > the strength of Twitter's > > legal rights to its valuable intellectual property, please be advised > that Twitter is determined to > > take whatever steps are necessary to protect its rights in the mark. > > Having said that, at this time, we are willing to assume that you did > not choose to > > misuse Twitter's trademark with the conscious intent of infringing > Twitter's rights or trading > > off of Twitter's goodwill. Twitter is concerned, however, that your use > of My Twitter Butler > > and the related domain may cause confusion in the marketplace by > suggesting that you and > > your site are somehow affiliated with Twitter, or are endorsed, > sponsored, or approved by > > Twitter, which would result in an infringement of Twitter's valuable > trademark rights. > > In light of the above, we must demand that you immediately: > > 1. deactivate the MyTwitterButler.com website; > > 2. transfer the MyTwitterButler.com domain to Twitter; > > 3. comply with Twitter's TOS and rules, which includes stopping your > aggressive > > and automatic following and offering techniques and software for others > to > > aggressively or automatically follow; and > > 4. stop all use of the My Twitter Butler name, the TWITTER mark, or any > other > > name, logo, or domain name that includes TWITTER or any confusingly > similar > > term. > > Please respond to me no later than August 24, 2009, to confirm that you > have > > complied with these demands and to obtain domain transfer instructions. > Twitter is hopeful > > that this matter can be resolved quickly and amicably. If, however, you > do not comply with > > these requests, Twitter will be forced to consider suspending your > Twitter accounts and take > > such steps as it deems necessary to protect its intellectual property > rights. > > We look forward to hearing from you. > > Sincerely, > > KAW > > ________________________________ > > From: Karen Webb [mailto:kw...@fenwick.com] > Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:55 PM > To: de5ffa48513f2670-348...@privacy.no-ip.com; Dean Collins > Subject: Letter re MyTwitterButler.com > > Dear Mr. Collins: > > Please see the attached letter. > > Sincerely, > > Karen Webb > > Karen A. Webb | Fenwick & West LLP > 801 California St. | Mountain View, CA 94041 > T: 650-335-7656 | F: 650-938-5200 > kw...@fenwick.com > > ------------------------------------------- > IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements > imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice in > this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written by > Fenwick & West LLP to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of > (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) > promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction > or matter addressed herein. > ------------------------------------------- > ATTENTION: > The information contained in this message may be legally privileged and > confidential. It is intended to be read only by the individual or > entity to whom it is addressed or by their designee. 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