Twitter is Trying to Trademark the Word ‘Subtweet’
Twitter is trying to trademark the word ‘subtweet’ which means a tweet directed at someone without mentioning their Twitter handle typically as a form of mockery or criticism. To put it in pre-social media terms, it would mean to talk about someone behind their back. The trademark was filed on October 30 and was up for opposition on November 19.
The trademark is a commercial mark in that Twitter’s control of the word would exclusively be in commercial settings. So when Twitter gets the word trademarked, no one else can name their new product “Subtweet” or sell things that say “Subtweet” on them.
“When you need to protect your namespace from people who would misuse it. #keepingit,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
Words like ‘tweet’, ‘subtweet’ and ‘tweetstorm’ have actually been coined by users referring to a specific Twitter activity. Twitter has tried to trademark a few them in the past but have not always been successful. In fact, Twitter could not trademark ‘tweet’ since the term has been in use for a long time, though now the word has become almost synonymous to Twitter.
If left unopposed, Twitter will gain the right of the word ‘subtweet’ within a few months.