Twitter Makes a Strong Case For “Flying Bird” Logo
Twitter has begrudgingly become ubiquitous in the technology and social media worlds and now it is applying to trademark it’s “flying bird” logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While some believe that this will be difficult, I believe that Twitter has become sufficiently known by their logo and that the relevant consumer would not be confused by the 8,000 other “flying-bird” related trademarks filed with the Trademark Office.
In order for a symbol to become a trademark, it must not cause confusion with a previous mark. If the Twitter bird could have ever been confused with another “flying bird” logo, its marketing efforts and stylistic design make it uniquely distinctive in the eye of the relevant consumer. Twitter now has over 105,000,000 registered users and while no official survey evidence has been released, I would bet that the Twitter logo would be widely recognizable by the relevant consumer and even by the American people at large.
However, an unintended consequence might come from the enforcement of this trademark, should Twitter achieve registration of the “flying bird” logo. Twitter is accessed through third-party apps by 75% of twitter users and many of those third-party developers use a similar Twitter logo in marketing their app. Twitter might risk alienating devoted third-party developers, or stifle growth of new innovative uses of the Twitter API.