It would come as no surprise to you to hear that Twitter, the social networking site purchased by Elon Musk, has rebranded and moved away from its famous ‘blue bird’ logo. With a rather abrupt transition to X Corp, the rebranding promises to bring along significant changes to the networking site with ambitious plans to incorporate X Corp into a base for many other offerings, including plans for it to become a hub for financial activities.
However, this rebrand has led to a number of surprises and whispers revolving around the world of intellectual property. In this blog, I delve deeper into some of these issues and discuss some learning points to take away, just in case you are a billionaire about to make a decision without much planning!
Social media handles
Did you know that when Elon Musk announced that Twitter is rebranding to X, the @X handle was actually owned by a photographer, Hene Hwang, who had held it since 2007 and not by Musk? Now I do not imagine that many of us would be in a situation where the social media network through which we run our business will decide to rebrand to our business name! Nonetheless, this saga certainly does raise some lessons for businesses focusing on social media.
One such lesson is to always consider having a back up account and providing incentives for people to follow both accounts. With an array of complicated social media policies, it can take just one mistake to lose your account and with that, the followers and hard work that has went with it and so having a back up account can really be useful. Additionally, I am sure that the photographer in question would say that not relying on one network but instead expanding your reach through multiple channels could be beneficial also.
It also appears that the X Corp is yet to obtain registrations for its trade mark of X. Now, I would desperately (DESPARATELY!!) hope that Musk would have ran the rebrand past his IP lawyers but, I mean, I am not so sure?
It appears that there are over 100 similar marks registered within the same class as that of social media network in the US and having conducted a brief search of the UK trade mark register, I see similar popularity of a brand name that is ultimately a letter in the alphabet, within the UK too.
So, do we see opposition and trade mark battles on the horizon?
I think so!
If you would like to discuss trade mark matters then do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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