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Courts May Give Elon Musk the X on Twitter’s Name Rebrand


November 13, 2023

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Earlier this year, Elon Musk announced a rebrand of the social media platform, Twitter. The platform now goes by the name, X.


According to CBS News, there are concerns about the legal challenges the new name may face. According to a complaint filed in October of 2023, a Florida-based social media ad agency, X Social Media, seems to be the first to sue X over its trademark. The complaint was filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida, and states that X Social Media has “continuously used an X since at least early 2016”.


Trademark attorney, Josh Gerben, who is also representing X Social Media, reportedly told Reuters that the letter X is commonly cited in trademarks, making it highly likely, in his opinion, that Twitter will face lawsuits for trademark infringement. According to Gerben, over 900 companies have filed trademark registrations with the letter X in the US alone, including companies like Meta and Microsoft.


In addition, some commentators have reportedly suggested that protecting X’s logo may also be difficult. Douglas Masters, a trademark attorney, has reportedly noted that the logo’s lack of distinctiveness may make protection of the logo very narrow.


Time will tell to what extent Twitter's rebrand gives rise to further issues in trademark law.

 

Authors: Olivia Moon and Arash Rouhi

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