What is Elon Musk doing with this rebranding?
He has renamed Twitter as “X”. That also means its logo will be changed to “X”. And all branding collateral, eg platform & website design and images, will be modified to be consistent with the new brand style.
Why did Elon Musk rebrand?
Musk has a thing for “X”. Before he founded PayPal he started some “X” company. Many of his other companies have an “X” eg SpaceX, xAI. His idea for the X social media platform is multimedia, multimodal, and with digital payments. He probably wants to change the platform fundamentally and thus change the public’s perception of what it is.
Can register just one alphabet as IP?
The intellectual property (IP) in question is trademark. Yes, it’s possible to register just one alphabet as a trademark.
Don’t trademarks need to be unique?
Not unique, ie not the only mark of its type ever. Just distinctive. Hence, the former Twitter has filed trademark for a stylised “X”. Not just the alphabet per se.
Isn’t the stylised “X” just a character in a Monotype font?
Possible, although apparently not, but very, very similar. Even so, it’s possible to have a stylised trademark distinctive by its font.
If it is really Monotype’s font, then that’s a separate legal problem. An IP licence should have been gotten from Monotype.
Will Twitter/X face legal challenges?
Most likely. Businesses who already have “X” trademarks in similar goods or services will likely file opposition proceedings against their trademark applications. Many businesses have stylised “X” marks registered in classes which Twitter/X would register in. In Singapore, this includes Sony, Panasonic, Meta/Facebook, Microsoft, etc.
To protect their own brand, opponents could oppose on the basis that Twitter/X’s mark is identical, or similar and likely to cause confusion, or indicates some connection with their business and would damage their own business, or unfairly dilute or take advantage of their own mark (if it’s well known), or it’s a passing off of their own business or trade marks. They could also argue the application was made in bad faith, or that the mark lacks inherent distinctiveness.
Will Twitter/X win?
Depends on many factors. Eg how similar the other businesses’ existing trademarks are to the stylised “X”. Whether the other businesses’ existing marks have been used in business, or registered but not used.
Can’t their mark exist alongside other similar marks?
Possible, usually by way of a co-existence agreement entered between the parties. This is often a settlement between parties in a trademark dispute. The potential opponent may enter such an agreement because it has a different business, geographic or distribution focus. It allows both marks to exist and not a binary outcome of one or the other being allowed.
If there are so many potential IP legal risks, do you think Musk listened to his lawyers?
Who knows? IP lawyers would have done the potential conflicting mark searches and advised the risk of potential legal challenges (and the potential costs of litigating them), as well as the risk that the mark would be registered in some countries but not others. For someone with much shallower pockets, they would be more cautious about proceeding in spite such risks.
#IPlaw #trademarks #intellectualproperty #intellectualpropertylaw #IPdisputes #litigation #disputes #SingaporeLaw
News article reference: https://www.theverge.com/2023/7/23/23804629/twitters-rebrand-to-x-may-actually-be-happening-soon