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October 11, 2011

Twitter Now Owns "Tweet" - Bizarre Naming and Branding Dispute Comes to an End

TwittervsTwittad.pngSo it turns out that Twitter will finally have possession of the word "tweet."

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the former owner of the word, Twittad, has announced that Twitter has dropped its lawsuit that seeks to nullify Twittad's use of the word. In return, Twittad transfered its registered trademark of "tweet" to Twitter.

I blogged about this last month, and felt that it was indeed an interesting case.

It is not clear whether or not Twitter paid Twittad for the rights to "tweet" since a confidentially agreement has been signed between the two companies. The CEO of Twittad has told the world that he has learned to "trademark and patent-protect everything."

The word "tweet" actually comes from Twittad, who obtained a trademark for the word in 2008 as part of its tagline "Let Your Ad Meet Tweets."

Twitter, for its part, argued that the word was famous before the trademark was granted.

The agreement that Twitter has with Twittad seems to be rather amicable. Says one Twitter spokesperson: "We've arrived at a resolution with Twittad that recognizes consistent use of Tweet while supporting the continued success of Twitter ecosystem partners like Twittad."

This is obviously crucial, as the word is used by so many companies who have businesses centered around Twitter. In any event, the word "tweet" might have been Twittad's most valuable asset, argues one blogger, given how relatively quiet their social networks have been.

And thus ends one of the more bizarre naming and branding stories on the Internet. I think that Twittad has learned a lesson that Twitter probably should've learned before them.

The problem here, of course, is that Twitter probably did not set out thinking that the word "tweets" would hold so much equity. Twittad was just incredibly fast out of the blocks.

By the way, I would imagine that Twitter did indeed pay Twittad to transfer the mark to them.

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Posted by William Lozito at October 11, 2011 8:00 AM
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