Twitter May Have a Problem With Its Shiny New Logo

Trademark infringement questions arise over news that Meta, Microsoft also have 'X' registered
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2023 7:53 AM CDT
Twitter Isn't the Only One to Lay Claim to Letter 'X'
Workers inside Twitter headquarters watch from a window as a workman removes signage on Monday in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Godofredo A. V?squez)

"X" may not mark the spot after all for Elon Musk in his attempted rebrand of Twitter. Although Musk has officially unveiled the 24th letter of the alphabet as his social media site's new name and identity, Insider reports that rival Meta appears to own the trademark for an "X" logo as it pertains to "online social networking services" and "social networking services in the fields of entertainment, gaming, and application development." The two competing logos don't look alike—Fox News shows a side-by-side view, noting that Meta's X logo has been registered since 2019—but since Musk wants to slap the X onto his own social network, that could lead to issues.

Microsoft has long owned an "X" trademark as well, in relation to its Xbox gaming system, and Insider notes the Twitter logo also bears a striking similarity to both a generic Unicode character and the lowercase "x" in a font called Monotype. "There's a 100% chance that Twitter is going to get sued over this by somebody," trademark attorney Josh Gerben tells Reuters, noting he found close to 900 such active registrations in the US. The Messenger, however, details the intricacies regarding intellectual property, noting that in most cases, Musk's "X" wouldn't be guilty of trademark infringement if the letter is used by companies in industries very different from his own and wouldn't cause confusion.

But "both Microsoft and Meta hold trademarks on the use of the letter X as a brand identity used for social media and communications purposes," the site notes, meaning Musk could face challenges from those two giants. Meanwhile, there was a temporary interruption at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters, as police seemed to stop workers as they took down the company's old logo. The San Francisco Standard reports that only the letters "er" and the bird logo remained on the building's exterior when cops showed up in the early afternoon on Monday.

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Cops say they were called over a possible lack of permit for this work, but they soon found "no crime was committed," per a police rep. Finally, yet another big change at Twitter: Although media inquiries have been answered in recent months with a poop emoji, Insider notes that, for its own recent request, "Twitter auto-replied to a request for comment with a message saying that the communications department would get back to us soon." (More Twitter stories.)

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