It's actually the investors who would be likely to be concerned about
brand and IP issues. I don't blame them for avoiding brand dilution -
it's dangerous for a near commodity service to have their brand
diluted. However the non-deterministic nature of their attempts
to secure their brand are likely to make 3rd parties uneasy. Again
though this is business, and the lesson we should take away is to
not fly too close to the flame :-) That is don't bet your business on a
resource that someone else controls, stay flexible and (if possible)
diverse. I'm sure that's a reasonable lesson in business full stop.

Bottom line, it's their party and we're an invited guest. Parties need
guests, but the hosts till run the show :) Personally I'm enjoying the
party so far ;) Twitter has an amazingly vibrant third party community.

Just be nice to not have lawyers making the first move as that tends
to ruffle feathers somewhat (bad pun) ;-)


On 14 Aug 2009, at 15:31, Vision Jinx wrote:

Thanks for this post! I am wondering when Twitter trademarked "Twit",
Blue and Birds?

Maybe Twitter should be considered an offensive word when making apps
and use Twi***r instead? Makes me really question making apps using
this service. :(

Additionally, I also don't get the dual stance on things, why it's OK
for some and not others?

Maybe people/companies who are using "Tweet" in their apps prior to
Twi***rs claim to the name should challenge it and do the same back?
(If they want to keep the name) If Twi***r trademarks it then then
encourage ppl to use it anyways, then why bother trademarking it in
the first place, unless they plan on being selective or whatever (or
being able to change their mind later or charge licensing fees for its
use). Just a thought.

The other thing that comes to mind is from what I am able to gather
(maybe I'm wrong here) Twi***r is a privately funded company (http://
twitter.com/about#about) and does not have the ad revenue or a hefty/
unlimited source of income ("we spend more money than we make.") like
say Google does so if people challenge these law suites and go the
distance how long is Twit***s funders going to want to donate their $$
$ to pay for these legal battles? If I was investing in the company I
would want my dollars going somewhere productive not to launch legal
battles with half the internet.

Also (last thought here), why do they allow people to download and use
their logo then? What am I missing here? >> "Download our logo"

I'm just confused by most this :(

Thank you for your time dev community! :)

On Aug 13, 4:32 pm, Twitlonger <stu...@abovetheinternet.org> 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

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
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 ww.twitter.com
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 thewww.twitter.com
website; and (ii) a blue background.

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