Musk’s Twitter rebrand could face legal challenges

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Elon Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter as X could face legal challenges, as other companies including Meta and Microsoft already have intellectual property rights to the letter.

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben said that there are nearly 900 active U.S. trademark registrations that already cover the letter X in a wide range of industries.

Microsoft has owned an X trademark related to communications about its Xbox video-game system since 2003. Meta Platforms, whose Threads platform is a new Twitter rival, owns a federal trademark registered in 2019 covering a blue-and-white letter “X” for fields including software and social media.

Meta and Microsoft likely would not sue unless they feel threatened that Twitter’s X encroaches on brand equity they built in the letter, Gerben said.

Meta itself drew intellectual property challenges when it changed its name from Facebook. It faces trademark lawsuits filed last year by investment firm Metacapital and virtual-reality company MetaX, and settled another over its new infinity-symbol logo. And if Musk succeeds in changing the name, others still could claim ‘X’ for themselves.

“Given the difficulty in protecting a single letter, especially one as popular commercially as ‘X’, Twitter’s protection is likely to be confined to very similar graphics to their X logo,” said Douglas Masters, a trademark attorney at law firm Loeb & Loeb.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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