Twitter rebranding: A trademark Xample to avoid
The bird has already flown away. In its place, a spectacularly non-distinctive letter.
Since last Monday, 24th July 2023, “X” has swiftly taken over as a new name for twitter, one of the biggest social media companies in the world, along with a new “X” design representation, a stylized black-and-white version of the letter.
“X” has for a long time been an important part of Elon Musk’s rise to fame when, back in the 2000s, he attempted to rebrand PayPal into X.com when he was CEO of the company. However, this did not happen and instead it led to Musk’s exit from the company. Nevertheless, he has inserted the letter into other companies which he owns, such as SpaceX and his recent xAI endeavour, as well as his own child’s name X Æ A-12 !
Elon Musk proceeded to rename and rebrand the company without having any trademark rights to the logo. Despite this misstep, he also did not make any particular stylisation for his new design which would make it stand out and be distinctive. Due to this, it seems unlikely that Musk’s new name and logo will afford him any protection against competition. Twitter's protection is likely to be confined to very similar graphics and design as their “X” logo.
A trademark provides rights to the word or logo, only in the way it is used with the specific goods or services and not in general. Therefore, the registration of a trademark is a necessary step for the protection of identity, reputation as well as the goods and services that it offers. And, let’s not forget that the registration of a Trademark and the rights that are safeguarded by the registration discourages other companies to use similar marks, logos and symbols.
It is advisable that all the above are taken into consideration, long before rebranding takes place.
Michael Kyprianou & Co LLC. has a leading Intellectual Property practice with a team of experienced lawyers who are able to advise and assist clients in relation to both contentious and non-contentious IP matters. If you need any advice in relation to Intellectual Property Rights, please contact Agis Charalambous, Associate at the Nicosia office, tel +357 22447777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org