Twitter files word ‘Tweet’ with USPTO, plans to enforce

Twitter announced on their blog yesterday that they recently filed the application to trademark the word “Tweet” (USPTO #77715815) in IC’s 038, 041 & 045.  Twitter is the name of a company and an online social network.  The term ‘tweet’ has become an accepted noun meaning ‘a message transmitted via Twitter’ and verb meaning to transmit such a message.  Prior to Twitter’s application a number of companies had already filed variations of this socially-accepted slang term.  Some of those marks are: Tweetdeck, Tweetmarks, Tweetphoto, Tweetup, CoTweet, Tweetworking & Tweet.Me.  All of the above were filed in 2009.

In cases like Kleenex, Xerox and Google, there is precedent of the use of a trademark as a generic term and clear rules of how those words can be used.  Is this the first time that a completely different word that refers to a service has been applied as a trademark?  Is this enforceable?  Inquiring minds want to know.  I want to know.  Lawyers, I would love your feedback.

4 Comments on “Twitter files word ‘Tweet’ with USPTO, plans to enforce”

  1. jay
    July 10, 2009 at 3:18 am #

    This is Cho chweet news.

  2. samj
    August 19, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    So the night before you posted this the USPTO had already rejected their trademark citing three of the marks you’ve identified:

    Twitter’s “Tweet” Trademark Torpedoed
    http://samj.net/2009/08/twitters-tweet-trademark-torpedoed.html

    Sam

    • Rob Holmes
      August 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

      Yes, interesting. The OA was almost automatic. I think their G.C. is under qualified and/or was asleep at the wheel for quite some time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Twitter Wants to Trademark Tweet. Really? Really? — MK Anderson - July 2, 2009

    […] announced they want to own the word “tweet” (via The Knockoff Report). From their blog post announcing this craziness (see May the Tweets Be With You): We have applied […]

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