X Corp. has been sued for copyright violations, unfair firing, and discrimination in the workplace since Elon Musk bought Twitter a little over a year ago. It now has to deal with trademark infringement, since an advertising firm has filed a lawsuit against it.
Last Monday, X Social Media, an advertising firm, sued X Corp. in a federal court in Florida. They said that the rebranding had confused customers by making them think that the ad services were connected to the Musk-led company. It wants X Corp. to be told they can’t use its mark anymore and wants to triple the amount of money they are owed for “exceptional” theft.
In July, Twitter changed its name to X Corp. as part of Musk’s plans to make the social media site an “everything app.” But when the news came out, there were already almost 900 trademark registrations for the letter “X” in a wide range of businesses. Among them were one owned by Meta for fun social networking services and one owned by Microsoft for games.
The letter “X” has been registered by X Corp. to be used in social media, business data analytics, market research, advertising services, and other areas. X Social Media, on the other hand, says it has used the mark for over eight years in services that are the same or very similar.
The complaint says, “They also include services and market channels where X Social Media has worked hard for years to raise consumer awareness of its X SocialMedia Mark successfully,” and it says that the company uses social media to connect people with legal services.
X Social Media Sues X Corp. for Trademark Infringement, Alleging Consumer Confusion
The company says that infringing and overlapping use of the “X” mark has made people think that X Corp. is the source for the services that X Social Media offers. It is said that “consumers naturally conflate” the two companies because “X” is a social media site.
X Social Media says it often emphasizes the “X” part of its mark in ads, blogs, and newsletters, such as “The X Blog” and “X Weekly,” the lawsuit says. It says it has spent more than $400 million on ads, with more than $2 million going to spreading the word about its brand.
Advertising its services under the nationally registered trademark “X SocialMedia” for use with advertising services is what the company does. It says that it has only used that mark since at least 2016, which gives it “a presumption of incontestability.”
The lawsuit says that X Corp.’s choice to use “X” as a trademark is an example of very bad behavior because it had a “legal duty to conduct due diligence and avoid infringing” on other people’s marks. X Social Media supposedly sent a “cease and desist” message in August, but it was not answered.
The lawsuit says, “In a short time, X Corp. has used its social media power, marketing resources, and general national fame to control how people think about its ‘X’ mark.”
X Social Media Accuses X Corp. of Trademark Infringement, Unfair Trade Practices in Florida Lawsuit
X Social Media says that the company is infringing on its trademarks and breaking Florida rules about unfair trade practices and competition.
They will have to show that X Corp.’s use of a similar mark is confusing customers if they want to win the case. The court will look at a number of factors, such as how similar the marks are and how similar the services that the two companies give.
The company that used to be called Facebook was also sued when it changed its name to Meta last year. MetaX, a virtual reality business, said that the other company stole its name on purpose as part of its move into the metaverse. There is no set date for the hearing.