Twitter has applied to trademark the word “Tweet” says the official blog. They think it is an obvious attachment to the Twitter brand, but say they have no intentions of going after users of the word.
We have applied to trademark Tweet because it is clearly attached to Twitter from a brand perspective but we have no intention of “going after” the wonderful applications and services that use the word in their name when associated with Twitter. In fact, we encourage the use of the word Tweet. However, if we come across a confusing or damaging project, the recourse to act responsibly to protect both users and our brand is important.
That’s good, I think. It is also good that they come clean and say that they are “a bit more wary” about the use of Twitter in projects. So cancel that Twitter Herald project and find another name, you might get in trouble otherwise.
In all seriousness, any service or product that wants people to build things around it need to be crystal clear about these things. It is not only completely unnecessary to have to send a Cease and Desist to enthusiasts, it is also really poor PR. Twitter knows that, apparently, but they should probably make sure those promised guidelines and such get rolled out soon.
So maybe we should all poke Twitter a bit more so that they can come clean with some rules about their trademarks already?