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Twitter Rebrand to X Could Face Legal Challenges

Twitter Rebrand to X Could Face Legal Challenges

Sarah Hardacre
Twitter was rebranded to X at the end of July – and the name change has not been an especially smooth transition. X Corp might now be open to legal challenges due to the use of the letter “X” in this context.

Musk and his company didn’t secure the intellectual property rights to the “X” brand, leaving it open to possible legal challenges. There are nearly 900 active US trademark registrations across many industries that cite the letter X, including Meta and Microsoft.

Current owners of the trademarks that may have brand names, logos, or slogans with the letter X, could claim infringement if this new use of the letter X could risk causing consumer confusion. They could request monetary damages or request that Elon Musk no longer use X for this product.

After the initial rebranding, the company formerly known as Twitter took the necessary steps to take over the handle @X from its original owner, Gene X. Hwang, one of the founders of San Francisco based Orange Photography.

Shortly after Twitter changed its name and logo, Hwang received an email from a generic [email protected] email account stating that he would no longer be able to use the @X handle.

In its place, it proposed that Hwang use the catchy handle @x12345678998765, although he was also free to choose a new, available handle. Hwang did not receive any compensation but X did offer some merchandise and the opportunity to meet with X management. Hwang says he is not likely to take them up on that offer.

The official launch of the X brand felt rushed – so rushed that the police intervened to stop the removal of the Twitter sign from the company’s San Francisco headquarters because it didn’t get the right authorizations ahead of time. The newly erected logo didn’t last very long either.

After a number of weeks since the rebranding, it doesn’t seem to be over yet. In fact, the Twitter brand still appears in numerous places on the X website, such as on its blog and in its help center.

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