Legal Challenges Await: Elon Musk’s Twitter Renaming to ‘X’ Faces Trademark Hurdles
Elon Musk’s decision to rename Twitter as X might lead to legal complications as the intellectual property rights for this letter have been previously claimed by numerous companies, including Meta and Microsoft.
The recent rebranding by Musk, where he unveiled the new logo featuring a stylized black-and-white version of the letter “X,” has raised concerns among intellectual property experts. Attorney Josh Gerben, who specializes in brand protection, stated that there is a “100% chance someone will sue Twitter” over this move. In the US alone, there are 900 registered trademarks covering the letter “X” in various industries.
Trademark owners, who use the marks to identify the origin of goods and services, can raise infringement claims if another company’s branding might mislead consumers. The remedies available range from monetary damages to a prohibition on using the trademark. Microsoft has owned the “X” trademark since 2003, associated with its gaming ecosystem Xbox. In 2019, Meta* (then Facebook) registered a blue-and-white letter “X” as its logo for software and social networking – the company is now developing Threads, a direct competitor to Twitter. However, Gerben believes that both Meta and Microsoft are unlikely to sue Twitter/X unless they feel their capital investments associated with the letter are threatened.
Meta itself had to defend its new brand when it dropped the name Facebook, facing claims from investment firm Metacapital and virtual reality technology developer MetaX. They also had to resolve a dispute related to their infinity symbol logo.
Given the complexity of defending a single letter, especially one as popular in commerce as “X,” Twitter’s legal protection will likely be limited to a logo design closely resembling their current one, according to Douglas Masters, a trademark attorney at Loeb & Loeb law firm.
- I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.
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