Bird food company faces opposition from Twitter over ‘Tweet’ trade mark

A Puerto Rican bird food company has applied to register the trade mark ‘tweet’ under international class 31, covering bird food. In response, Twitter have filed a notice of opposition, claiming to have established common law rights to what they believe to be a distinctive mark in connection with their goods and services.

The term ‘tweet’ has undoubtedly become synonymous with Twitter over the years since it was founded in 2006, now with approximately 330 million users worldwide. In relation to the social media giant, ‘tweet’ refers to the messages that can be published on the platform.

However, Twitter is now seeking to oppose B. Fernandez & Hnos, the applicant in question, from registering the mark in relation to bird food, claiming that consumers will likely be confused and infer an association between the applicant’s product and Twitter and their associated services; Twitter argued that the similar mark could be harmful to their platform and has potential to mislead or deceive customers as to the origin or sponsorship of the goods.

Ultimately it appears that Twitter believes the term ‘tweet’ to be so highly associated with their brand that a brand of bird food coining the same term, which is arguably completely unrelated and a natural fit for the applicants products purpose, would cause confusion.

It is somewhat surprising that Twitter has taken this aggressive approach, as their trademark enforcement policies regarding third parties interacting with the social media platform freely permit the use of Twitter related terms, such as ‘tweet’, when referring to use of the site.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or would like to know more about trade marks please do not hesitate to contact the Trademarkroom team today.

-Ellie King

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