Is ‘Tweet’ fair game?
In May the domain name Tweet.me sold for $11,505 at Sedo. At the time, I wrote:
I’m a bit concerned about all of the services popping up that use variants of Twitter and Tweet in their names: could Twitter ever come after them for trademark infringement?
Some developers referred me to Twitter’s apparent company line on this issue:
There are certainly many applications out there that include “Twitter” as part of their name, but we prefer that you not do so. “Twit”, “Tweet”, etc. are all fine.
But TechCrunch is reporting that Twitter may be changing its mind. Robin Wauters explains that a third party developer is getting pushback from Twitter over his design and branding. Twitter stops short of saying that using ‘tweet’ is unacceptable, but certainly gives itself wiggle room to do so in the future.
Although Twitter wants its ecosystem to grow, developers should certainly be cautious about using any of its trademarks in their domain names. Social networking sites such as Facebook are pursuing domains that include Facebook in them, even if the owner plans to develop a Facebook-based site.