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

July 2, 2009

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

  1. 

    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

  2. 

    This is Cho chweet news.

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  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 […]