Contact Form

Sticky Contact Form

Trade Mark issues relating to Twitter’s Rebranding as X

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on September 14, 2023


Twitter Inc., which was founded in the United States of America in the year 2006 has been known by its trademark – a blue bird named ‘Larry’ since its inception. However, recently in the month of July, 2023 the current largest shareholder of Twitter Elon Musk has renamed the company ‘X’ along with changing its trademark to the same letter.

A trademark refers to a unique symbol, design, sign, or name that is used by a specific entity or a company to distinguish itself from other players and it cannot be used by any other entity. The purpose behind having a unique trade – mark is that it enables the business entity to differentiate itself from all other players in the market and prevent any other entity from infringing on its trademark. As a rebranding measure, twitter has changed both its logo and domain address to the alphabet ‘X’.

One of the most essential steps to be fulfilled before obtaining any trademark is to have a distinctive mark which contains considerable differences from any other trademark. Moreover, a trademark search must be carried out before proceeding with the registration of any trademark which involves conducting due diligence as to whether any other entity with the same set of marks or similar marks exists which could cause deception or resemblance to the consumers.

Moreover, the name “Twitter” along with its blue – bird logo has acquired a significantly popular and well-known status in the social media market which has also become synonymous with the goodwill and reputation of the company. The act of changing the name and logo to an entirely different and unrelated theme would lead to significant losses in terms of consumer awareness and goodwill of the company.

Secondly, the alphabet X as a trademark would also lead to exposure of the company in terms of potential trademark prosecution and infringement lawsuits as those who may have earlier secured their rights in terms of the letter or similar letters and symbols would be legally eligible to sue the company for having a deceptively similar trademark.

The reputation, goodwill and branding of the old trademark also cannot be attributed to the new generic trademark which would lead to the new trademark not enjoying the same legal status as enjoyed by the previous marks. Secondly, the third parties which may have acquired rights in various trademarks directly or nearly similar to the alphabet X would also pose significant threats to the company which could even result in increased costs of trademark prosecution and defence suits. In event of failure of their lawsuits, the company can also be legally forced to change or update their trademark in accordance with the law and the order of the courts.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the designs or symbols used in the trademarks must have a distinguishing element which would empower them to be differentiated from others. In the case of Twitter, the letter ‘X’ and its associated design, being an alphabet is simple which could lead to multiple brands like X – Box or Microsoft owned enterprises to sue Twitter as the former owns the trademark X since 2003. 

One of the basic purposes which a trademark serves is also to provide a unique identification to its consumers about its brand, goods and services. Since the inception of the company, Twitter has always been recognized by its blue bird symbol which has now been changed. This would also lead to an increased level of confusion from its consumers and other stakeholders of the business and would thereby cause at least a decade of set – back to the company in terms of rebuilding its identification again.

Moreover, in the United States trademark law, the trademarks must be utilized continuously in order to be legally protected and those marks which have been out of use for a considerable period of time lose their legal status and protection. In the present case, Twitter or X would also have a huge potential risk of losing on their blue – bird icon once they have discontinued the usage of that mark and would open up an option for other enterprises to claim it.


Rebranding a trademark opens several potential risks for a company in reference to its legal protection, brand image, goodwill, consumer base and market holding. If a company wantonly changes its trademarks without conducting due – diligence about such an act and its impact upon the market as a whole, it will lead to opening up of a number of issues regarding infringement suits, trademark protection and various other issues.

In the case of Twitter, though the rebranding may lead to a number of lawsuits against the company, it can still claim its strong distinctive character owing to heavy publicity and advertisement expenses, huge media coverage and weak opposition brands. Moreover, obtaining a fair share of market recognition may also take a long time for the company in the future which could lead to the wastage of resources that could have been utilized in increasing the revenue of the company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Twitter name still trademarked?

Twitter's trademark is legal, but it's complicated. Since the “X” design is so simple, it may be hard to distinguish it from other businesses' use of the same branding. This limits the amount of protection Twitter has over its new name and logo, narrowing opportunities for future use.

Are trademarks permanent?

Unlike patents and copyrights, trademarks do not expire after a set period of time. Trademarks will persist so long as the owner continues to use the trademark. Once the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), grants a registered trademark, the owner must continue to use the trademark in ordinary commerce.

What is the trademark expiry date?

The validity period of a trademark in India is for a period of 10 years as per section 25 in the Trade Marks Act, 1999. 

King Stubb & Kasiva,
Advocates & Attorneys

Click Here to Get in Touch

New Delhi | Mumbai | Bangalore | Chennai | Hyderabad | Mangalore | Pune | Kochi
Tel: +91 11 41032969 | Email:

Liked this Article ?

Join our list to receive more such updates

Subscription Form

By entering the email address you agree to our Privacy Policy.

King Stubb & Kasiva

Offices In - New Delhi | Bangalore | Mumbai
Chennai | Hyderabad | Kochi | Pune | Mangalore

Subscription Form