Billionaire Elon Musk’s resolution to rebrand Twitter as X could possibly be difficult legally: firms together with Meta and Microsoft have already got mental property rights to the identical letter.
X is so extensively used and cited in logos that it’s a candidate for authorized challenges – and the corporate previously often known as Twitter might face its personal points defending its X model sooner or later.
“There is a 100% probability that Twitter goes to get sued over this by any person,” mentioned trademark legal professional Josh Gerben, who mentioned he counted almost 900 lively U.S. trademark registrations that already cowl the letter X in a variety of industries.
Musk renamed social media community Twitter as X on Monday and unveiled a brand new brand for the social media platform, a stylized black-and-white model of the letter.
House owners of logos – which shield issues like model names, logos and slogans that establish sources of products – can declare infringement if different branding would trigger client confusion. Treatments vary from financial damages to blocking use.
Microsoft since 2003 has owned an X trademark associated to communications about its Xbox video-game system. Meta Platforms – whose Threads platform is a brand new Twitter rival – owns a federal trademark registered in 2019 overlaying a blue-and-white letter “X” for fields together with software program and social media.
Meta and Microsoft seemingly wouldn’t sue until they really feel threatened that Twitter’s X encroaches on model fairness they constructed within the letter, Gerben mentioned.
The three firms didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Meta itself drew mental property challenges when it modified its identify from Fb. It faces trademark lawsuits filed final yr by funding agency Metacapital and virtual-reality firm MetaX, and settled one other over its new infinity-symbol brand.
And if Musk succeeds in altering the identify, others nonetheless might declare ‘X’ for themselves.
“Given the issue in defending a single letter, particularly one as widespread commercially as ‘X’, Twitter’s safety is prone to be confined to very related graphics to their X brand,” mentioned Douglas Masters, a trademark legal professional at regulation agency Loeb & Loeb.
“The brand doesn’t have a lot distinctive about it, so the safety shall be very slim.”
Insider reported earlier that Meta had an X trademark, and lawyer Ed Timberlake tweeted that Microsoft had one as effectively.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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