By Jason Meserve | Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 9:37 am
Tweety Bird can say he think he taw a putty cat all day long, but he better be careful of how he uses Tweet as a word. Turns out, Twitter has a trademark on the word used to describe microblog entries on the social networking giant.
The trademark was unearthed after Twitter sent a note to a third-party developer saying it was “uncomfortable” with the UI the developer created in that it was too similar to the Twitter interface. Twitter also mentioned that using the word “tweet” was not kosher either, as it was one of its trademarks, TechCrunch reports.
Twitter co-founder Biz Stone says the company wants to encourage the flourishing ecosystem around Twitter, but that it does have to protect its “marks, logos, or look and feel.”
Trademarks are a tricky area, particularly for words that fall into common lingo. People say they’re going “rollerblading” all the time. But unless they’re using actual Roller Blades, they’re technically “inline skating.” Obviously, a company like Twitter is not going to go after everyone that uses tweet in trademark infringing manner, but those sites that do become more popular will have to watch out what Twitter lingo they adopt.
No word on how this will impact the use of words like Tweetup, Twestival, Tweep and every other “tw-” word that springs up around the Twittersphere.