Twitter announced on their blog yesterday that they recently filed the application to trademark the word “Tweet” (USPTO #77715815) in IC’s 038, 041 & 045. Twitter is the name of a company and an online social network. The term ‘tweet’ has become an accepted noun meaning ‘a message transmitted via Twitter’ and verb meaning to transmit such a message. Prior to Twitter’s application a number of companies had already filed variations of this socially-accepted slang term. Some of those marks are: Tweetdeck, Tweetmarks, Tweetphoto, Tweetup, CoTweet, Tweetworking & Tweet.Me. All of the above were filed in 2009.
In cases like Kleenex, Xerox and Google, there is precedent of the use of a trademark as a generic term and clear rules of how those words can be used. Is this the first time that a completely different word that refers to a service has been applied as a trademark? Is this enforceable? Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know. Lawyers, I would love your feedback.