It’s official the Twitter dispute has come to an end over the word “tweet”. Twitter has been working since early 2009 to trademark the word “tweet”, but part of the problem that kept them from doing so was that there were two companies that had variations of the word,Twitter and Twittad. Twittad, an online advertisement service for Twitter users, coined their tagline “Let your ad meet tweets.” Twittad tried to trademark their version of “tweet”, but were rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) twice, just like Twitter. Soon thereafter, Twitter decided to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California against Twittad over “tweet”.
Twitter claimed that the word “tweet” was famous before Twittad filed their trademark application to the USPTO and that the term rightfully belonged to Twitter. Yet on the other hand Twittad argued that users came up with the term “tweet” therefore it was open for anyone to trademark. This led to the two sides deciding it would be better to settle the suit out of court, which is where the clash finally came to a halt.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Twitter will drop the lawsuit and Twittad will transfer the registered trademark of “tweet” to Twitter. Also, the suspended Twittad Twitter account will be reinstated after being suspended during the quarrel.
Obviously retaining Twitter’s brand name is important to the company and they have displayed that they have “‘no intention of ‘going after’ the wonderful applications and services that use the word [“tweet”] in their name when associated with Twitter.’…‘However, if we come across a confusing or damaging project, the recourse to act responsibly to protect both users and our brand is important.’”
Therefore, even if Twittad was not going to be confused with Twitter, the bigger issue was in fact damaging the advertising revenue for Twitter. Now that this dispute is over Twitter will reap benefits from the added attention in the media by helping its publicity, as well as continuing to expand its boundaries past the recently reached 100 million active users as of September 8th, 2011.