Thursday, August 20, 2009


In a blow to Twitter, the USPTO has primarily denied the Trademark application for th word “tweet”.

Twitter originally filed for the trademark on April 16. In the application, the company expressed its desire to use tweet “through the applicant’s related company or licensee the mark in commerce on or in connection with the identified goods and/or services.” It seemed like a standard application that, once reviewed, would make “tweet” one of Twitter’s registered trademarks.

But after reviewing Twitter’s application and sifting through its listing of pending applications, the Patent Office found that three companies had already applied for trademarks that contained “tweet” in their names. They were simply too close to the trademark Twitter wanted.

The Patent Office attached applications sent by those three companies–TweetMarks, Cotweet, and Tweetphoto–with Twitter’s rejection notice. In that notice dated July 1, the Patent Office explained that each of those trademark applications were filed with its office before Twitter’s application.

“Marks in prior-filed pending applications may present a bar to registration of applicant’s mark,” the office wrote.

It went on to say that Twitter’s tweet mark “may be refused registration under Trademark Act Section 2(d) because of a
likelihood of confusion between the two marks.” It couldn’t say for sure that it would be refused registration, since the three previous applications were still pending.