Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about Elon Musk‘s decision-making, and it seems like he’s not really thinking things through or looking at the bigger picture when it comes to the important issues, or policies.
Earlier this week, he tweeted about his intentions of changing the platform’s name from Twitter to X. But, here the thing: the trademark for “X” does not actually belong to X Corp, as one might expect. Surprisingly, it is owned by industry giants like Microsoft, Meta and more.
It’s being reported that Microsoft had actually owned the “X” trademark since 2003, in relation to the Xbox. On the other hand, Meta owns a federal trademark registered just four years ago, that covers a blue and white letter “X” under the categories of software and social media.
Trademark owners can sue if they think someone else's branding is confusingly similar to their own. For the receiving end, this could mean losing money or even having to stop using the branding altogether.
We’ve seen a similar issue with Apple’s Vision Pro, but in that case, the trademarks for the other companies were registered under separate categories, so that didn’t pose THAT much of a problem, as this is. Just to give you an idea, there are over 900 trademarks with the letter “X” in the U.S alone, and some, like Meta’s, clearly fall under the “social media” category.
While Meta and Microsoft might not immediately sue, they COULD feel threatened if they believe Twitter’s rebranding of “X” could harm the brand recognition they’ve built. There’s no denying that this legal and branding tangle does add a bit of complexity to the entire situation and raises the question of “what’s next?”
One might argue that these trademarks for X aren’t, in any way, similar to the X logo Musk has introduced. But, as far as the logo itself is concerned, it is simply the letter X from the Special Alphabets 4 font, and nothing more.
If you’re going to do something of this scale, at least put a bit of an effort into it.
At this point, we don’t know what else is in store for Twitter. The reason behind the rebranding hasn’t been confirmed by Musk himself, and there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the platform’s future and its decade-old identity. After all, it is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with over 500 million users.
This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.