Friday, July 31, 2009

Trademarking Tweet

PC Magazine's Twitter Trying to Trademark 'Tweet' is one of those items that make me wonder what the wider world thinks of lawyers and trademarks. Thankfully, this article does note that we lawyers act defensively as well as offensively (no pun intended).

Twitter has attempted to trademark the term "tweet," although the company's founder said it was purely a defensive measure.

If "confusing and potentially damaging projects" emerge, co-founder Biz Stone said in a blog post, then Twitter may take action.

Otherwise, "really awesome" applications that use the term "tweet" are safe, including TweetDeck, TweetMeme, Tweetie, BackTweets, Tweetboard, Stone wrote.

Stone's blog post was a response to a email that began circulating, citing concerns Twitter allegedly had with a third-party app's user interface (UI) and name.

"We have applied to trademark Tweet because it is clearly attached to Twitter from a brand perspective but we have no intention of "going after" the wonderful applications and services that use the word in their name when associated with Twitter," Stone wrote. "In fact, we encourage the use of the word Tweet. However, if we come across a confusing or damaging project, the recourse to act responsibly to protect both users and our brand is important."