Twitter will get "tweet" trademark, settles lawsuit

Twitter is closer to having dominion over the word "tweet."

On Monday, James Eliason, CEO of Twittad, said in an interview that Twitter would drop a lawsuit it filed against his company last month that sought to nix Twittad's registered trademark of the word "tweet." In return, Des Moines-based Twittad would transfer its registered trademark of "tweet" to Twitter, he said.

(People "tweet" by posting a message of up to 140 characters on Twitter, an online messaging service.)

Twitter's battle over the "tweet" trademark was the subject of a Wall Street Journal article last month.

Eliason declined to say whether Twitter paid Twittad, citing a confidentiality agreement between the companies.

"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," Twitter spokeswoman Lynn Fox said in a statement.

Eliason said Twitter would restore Twittad's account on Twitter so that it can resume business. Twittad helps a network of 27,000 other Twitter users to get paid to tweet advertisements on Twitter.

Eliason, who runs other Web start-ups, said Twittad would continue to use its original tagline: "Let your ad meet tweets."

In its legal filings last month, Twitter argued that "tweet" was already "famous" as a Twitter term before rivals filed trademark applications and that Twitter is the rightful owner.

The suit held that another company's getting the tweet-related trademark "threatens to block Twitter from its registration and legitimate uses of its own mark."

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has twice suspended Twitter's own attempts beginning in April 2009 to trademark the term.

"The moral of the story is to make sure you trademark and patent-protect everything," said Eliason, 32 years old.

(Published by WSJ - October 10, 2011)


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9/20/11 - Denied mark for 'Tweet,' Twitter pecks out complaint - click here.


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