That's true. They're not asking you to drop the domain name or anything like
that. I've seen MUCH nastier C & D letters issued. That one indicates to me
that they actually do appreciate your service, but simply are trying to
defend their brand.

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 18:04, Neil Ellis <>wrote:

> Although I have to admit the actual wording from the lawyers is much
> more polite than you often see :-) and the demands not unreasonable.
> On 14 Aug 2009, at 00:56, Neil Ellis wrote:
>  Sorry everyone if this seems off topic, but understanding the legals of
>> the
>> API are as (actually more) important to me as understanding the tech.
>> On 14 Aug 2009, at 00:44, Goblin wrote:
>>> To be fair, the new version mostly seemed to please the guy I was on
>>> the phone with, but I got the impression he was shooting from the hip
>>> when he said that I would probably need to change the blue in the
>>> logo.
>> I get the picture :-) and that seems to be the price of outsourcing the
>> legals - i.e. the people enforcing in it have no personal stake in the
>> community and relations. As you say later, clarification would be good.
>>  It just seems weird that we spend two or three years building sites
>>> with the twit/tweet theme running so it is clear they are add-ons to
>>> Twitter and *then* the lawyers decide to get antsy. I know Twitter is
>>> in the position that if they don't act to protect their trademarks
>>> they can lose them, but it would be nice if we were told a few months
>>> back "Look guys, we're going to need to start enforcing trademark
>>> stuff. It might be a hassle for you so we're giving you a heads up".
>> Yeah this really needs to get sorted out 'between' friends, legals stir
>> up so much stuff and make people feel quite upset. Better to have a
>> friendly - hey we're concerned about your site - from the Twitter team
>> (even if it is a standard letter) first rather than lawyers first.
>>> It would be nice to hear from the horses mouth if all the "twit*/
>>> twitter*" apps were to use "tweet" instead, would that sort the issue
>>> out. I have (and @tweetlonger) so it would be
>>> reasonably trivial to migrate over to the new domain if that would
>>> sort things out.
>> I suspect after the last huge thread some clarification will wind it's way
>> down in the near future. It would seem to be wise, it's like finding out
>> your best friend's sweet little 8 year old carries an Uzi in her lunch
>> pack
>> when a site as community friendly as Twitter starts launching C&Ds.
>>> The before page wasn't really potentially confusing, especially since
>>> I designed it, resulting in it looking like a 4 year old had been let
>>> loose with MS Paint,
>> :-) I'm at that stage right now :-) Glad you got past it. Site looks very
>> clean now.
>>  but you'd have to be pretty confused to think the
>>> new one and the Twitter homepage are the same people.
>> Agreed!
>>> On Aug 14, 12:28 am, Neil Ellis <> wrote:
>>>> Man that's sad, your website is unmistakable and there is no doubt
>>>> you are not Twitter. It sounds like it was potentially confusing before.
>>>> Hmmm...  outsourcing trademark checking seems to have pitfalls
>>>> (i.e. eating into company goodwill).
>>>> It makes you really stop and think about building a business
>>>> around someone's  API doesn't it - that's what we're doing right now,
>>>> but it encourages me to diversify pretty darn fast. I suppose it was
>>>> naive of me not to consider just how much you can be beholden to the
>>>> API owner in the first place.
>>>> It doesn't put me off working with Twitter, but it does make me want
>>>> to get some more baskets for these eggs :-)
>>>> Thanks for letting us know your situation and good luck.
>>>> All the best
>>>> Neil
>>>> On 13 Aug 2009, at 23:32, Twitlonger wrote:
>>>>  I recently got a letter by email from a UK law firm representing
>>>>> Twitter claiming that my websitewww.twitlonger.comwas infringing on
>>>>> their trade mark and was inherently likely to confuse users. The
>>>>> version of the website they were objecting to didn't have a similar
>>>>> font but did use the same birds as the old version of the site (fair
>>>>> enough to be asked to remove them).
>>>>  The timing coincided with a redesign of the site anyway which went
>>>>> live this week. I emailed them back pointing this out and then ended
>>>>> up on the phone with them with the claim being that the site as it
>>>>> stands now could still be seen as "potentially confusing". I want to
>>>>> know how different they expect a site to be (especially when it
>>>>> doesn't even include the full word "twitter" in the name. Compare this
>>>>> to Twitpic, Twitvid etc who are using the same contraction AND the
>>>>> same typeface.
>>>>  This feels so much like a legal department doing stuff that is
>>>>> completely contrary to the Twitter team who have been so supportive of
>>>>> the third party community. Of course, all these applications have been
>>>>> granted access to be listed in the posted from field in the tweets,
>>>>> been granted special access to the API via whitelisting which requires
>>>>> the application to be named and described and, in many cases, been
>>>>> registered with OAuth, again requiring the name and description of the
>>>>> app.
>>>>  Has anyone else received similar letters where they have no problem
>>>>> with the service but can't seem to tell the difference between two
>>>>> sites if blue is present in each?
>>>>  :(
>>>>  Letter copied below.
>>>>> ---
>>>>> TWITTER - Trade Mark and Website Presentation Issues
>>>>> We act for Twitter, Inc. in relation to intellectual property issues
>>>>> in the UK.
>>>>> Twitter has asked us to contact you about your
>>>>> ww.twitlonger.comwebsite
>>>>> (the..Website..).Twitter
>>>>> has no objection to the service which you are offering on the Website.
>>>>> However, Twitter does need
>>>>> you to make certain changes to the Website. We have set out the
>>>>> reasons below.
>>>>> Your Website
>>>>> Twitter owns a number of registrations for its TWITTER trade mark,
>>>>> including Community trade mark
>>>>> registration number 6392997. Your use of a name for the Website which
>>>>> is based on the TWITTER
>>>>> trade mark is inherently likely to confuse users of the
>>>>> website into thinking that the
>>>>> Website is owned or operated by Twitter, when this is not the case.
>>>>> You are using a font on your Website which is very similar to that
>>>>> used by Twitter for its TWITTER
>>>>> logo. You have no doubt chosen to use this font for this very reason.
>>>>> You are also using a blue
>>>>> background and representations of blue birds. These blue birds are
>>>>> identical to those which Twitter
>>>>> has previously used on thewww.twitter.comwebsite. The combination of
>>>>> these factors and the name
>>>>> of your Website inevitably increase the likelihood of confusion.
>>>>> We therefore ask you to confirm that you will, within seven days of
>>>>> giving the confirmation:
>>>>> 1. incorporate a prominent non-affiliation disclaimer on all pages of
>>>>> the Website;
>>>>> 2. permanently stop any use on the Website of a font which is
>>>>> identical or similar to the font used by
>>>>> Twitter for its TWITTER logo; and
>>>>> 3. permanently stop any use on the Website of (i) representations of
>>>>> blue birds which are identical or
>>>>> similar to the blue bird design previously or currently used by
>>>>> Twitter on
>>>>> website; and (ii) a blue background.

Internets. Serious business.

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