What just happened? Most Twitter users weren't happy about Elon Musk renaming the service to his favorite letter of the alphabet, X, in July. It's been of particular annoyance to Florida ad agency X Social Media LLC, which is suing the microblogging site over trademark infringement and other allegations.
Musk killed off Twitter's famous blue bird logo and changed the service's name to X a couple of months ago, a move that has won him few fans.
As per The Verge, X Social Media claimed that X Corp is violating Florida common law because of "unfair competition and trademark and service mark infringement," as well as the state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The company says it has used its registered trademark "X SOCIALMEDIA" continuously for seven years.
X Social Media is described as a company that has "offered its advertising and social media services connecting law firms and those in need of advocates since 2016." It says the X part of its name is frequently emphasized in its advertising, blogs, and newsletters.
The Twitter rebrand to "X" is the trademark story of the year.– Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) July 25, 2023
A few reasons why:
1âÂ£ The Twitter trademark is known (and protected) around the world.
To cast aside an asset this valuable in favor of a new trademark is unprecedented in history.
2âÂ£ It takes years of effort to… pic.twitter.com/RZdSeukRXL
X Social Media said Twitter's name change has caused confusion among customers and already led to a loss of revenue, something that it believes is highly likely to continue. Before the lawsuit was filed, typing "X Social Media" into search would list X Corp. as the top result.
"In a short time, X Corp has wielded its social media clout, marketing resources, and overall national notoriety to dominate consumer perception of its 'X' mark," the lawsuit said.
X Social Media also claims X Corp. filed trademark applications for services that are comparable to its own, despite allegedly knowing about the Florida company's existence. The firm sent a cease-and-desist letter to X Corp. in August 2023, but nothing came of it.
X Social Media is asking for a court injunction to prohibit X Corp. from using the "X" mark. It is also asking for damages equivalent to three times its losses or the defendant's profits.
We can certainly expect to see more lawsuits launched against X Corp. over the use of the letter X, which is covered in hundreds of federal trademarks. X Corp only applied for its US trademarks covering the letter last month, writes Reuters.
The lawsuit will likely be a familiar sight to Meta. The Facebook parent rebranded in 2021, leading to a company called MetaX, ironically, launching a trademark lawsuit last year.