After a hard-won battle, Twitter has successfully trademarked the word “tweet,” according to The Telegraph, under the argument that Twitter made the word famous. Well, we’d be onboard with that.
But apparently Twittad, the ad network that lets power users blast out sponsored tweets, had got to the word first in 2008, trademarking the tagline “Let Your Ad Meet Tweets.” Later, Twittad’s lawyers argued that “because Twitter’s own users had come up with the term themselves it was entitled to seek ownership.”
The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office twice suspended Twitter’s attempts to trademark the word, but the companies have worked out a detente: Twitter will drop its lawsuit against Twittad, and Twittad will transfer its trademark to Twitter. Considering the ad network depends on the Twitter platform for survival, Twittad’s choice seems wise. We imagine the negotiations went something like this:
Twitter: Give us our jargon back, or you can kiss your A.P.I. access goodbye.