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Twitter Gains “Tweet” Trademark

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Twitter by Coletivo Mambembe on Flickr

Image by Coletivo Mambembe on Flickr

Remember when we told you about Twitter’s battle to trademark “tweet?” Well sleep tight, tweeps, because there’s a settlement in the works.

Twitter has reportedly agreed to drop its lawsuit against Twittad, current owner of a trademarked phrase that includes the word “tweet,” so long as Twittad transfers “tweet” trademark ownership to Twitter.

Twemendously confused yet?

Well then let’s back up. The controversy arose when Twitter realized that although it owned the legal rights to words like “retweet” and “cotweet,” the basic “tweet” had somehow fallen through the trademark cracks. In fact, the word “tweet” had been granted trademark protection as part of the phrase, “Let Your Ads Meet Tweets” owned by Twittad, an advertising company with services for use on the microblogging site.

Twitter then sued Twittad, claiming “[t]he defendant’s registration unfairly exploits the widespread association by the consuming public of the market ‘tweet’ with Twitter and threatens to block Twitter from its registration and legitimate uses of its own mark.” Twitter alleged trademark infringement based on its own “prior use and widespread consumer recognition of the TWEET mark.”

But as of Monday, according to The Wall Street Journal, the two companies have reached an agreement.

“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,” Lynn Fox, Twitter spokesperson, is quoted as saying.

The agreement reportedly also allows Twittad to keep using its tagline. There has been no comment as to whether Twitter paid Twittad for trademark rights, and there probably won’t be either as there is a confidentiality agreement in place.

Ah, and another bonus for Twittad is that Twitter has agreed to restore the advertising company’s Twitter account, which had been suspended during the litigation.

Long live the power—and trademark—of the tweet.

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<a href="" title="Did Twitter Unfairly Block Twittad's Account During Tweet Trademark Lawsuit?">Did Twitter Unfairly Block Twittad&#8217;s Account During Tweet Trademark Lawsuit?</a>
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October 12th, 2011 at 2:06 pm