Podcast network TWiT sues Twitter for trademark infringement over social network's video p...

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Twitter has been targeted in a lawsuit from podcast production company TWiT, with the social network accused of trademark infringement and a breach of contract after it started expanding into providing streaming video content to its users.




According to the filing, made in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday, the disagreement stems from an appearance of Twitter co-founder Evan Williams on "[email protected]", a show on the Leo Laporte-owned TWiT podcast network, in 2007. A previous guest on TWiT's shows, Williams' appearance was used as a way to promote Twitter during the earlier days of its existence.

During the show, Williams advised to Laporte Twitter was only a text-based microblogging service, reports TechCrunch, but apparently acknowledged the potential for confusion over the two trademarks. Laporte and Williams are also alleged to have agreed for the two marks to coexist, "conditioned on each company continuing its own unique distribution platform," with TWiT keeping to video and audio while Twitter stuck to text.

News stories from 2009 suggesting Twitter was planning an expansion into video allegedly caused TwiT some concern due to the potential confusion with advertisers and users, prompting Laporte to correspond with Williams, who by then had become Twitter's CEO. Williams dismissed the reports in his response, advising "Don't worry: We're not expanding to audio or video under the Twitter brand."

Twitter had changed its mind about video by May 2017, announcing plans to create streaming news and sports videos for the microblogging service, along with broadcasts from concerts and other major events. TWiT considered Twitter's announcement to be "a breach of its promise to and agreement with" the company and Laporte, with its lawyers sending a demand to Twitter to stop expanding the use of its mark.

After the legal demand, the two firms have "engaged in communications," but have so far failed to resolve the dispute, with Twitter continuing to offer live video streams to its users.

TWiT has asked the court for a permanent injunction to prevent Twitter from distributing audio and video content, along with damages, profits gained from Twitter's use of video, attorney's fees, and any further relief the court sees fit to award. Twitter has yet to pass comment on the lawsuit.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,703member
    Better watch out AppleInsider, Leo Laporte doesn’t use the term Podcast because he thinks it makes him look like he’s an Apple supporter. He calls his shows Netcasts instead. He might sue you over this.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,758member
    Leo can be kind of a douche sometimes. His shows just annoying me now. Any time I happen to watch/listen to My Mac Breaks Weekly, its basically just him bashing Apple or a particular product. Honestly, I think his shows have become stale.
    spinnydwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    It goes even deeper than this lawsuit. I recall Leo Laporte saying that the Twitter name was chosen because they were inspired by TWiT’s name. He was told this by Williams!

    I hope TWiT wins this lawsuit. The folks at Twitter seem quite devious and underhanded.
    edited January 2018 jahblade
  • Reply 4 of 14
    anomeanome Posts: 1,243member

    I seem to recall a similar disagreement over trademarks, which was settled provided one of the companies never branched into music...How did that turn out again?

  • Reply 5 of 14
    Leo wants to be bought out. 
    After endless hours waxing over the latest Windows Creator’s Update with Mary Jo and Paul Thurott, he wants to move on.
    rezwits
  • Reply 6 of 14
    macxpress said:
    Leo can be kind of a douche sometimes. His shows just annoying me now. Any time I happen to watch/listen to My Mac Breaks Weekly, its basically just him bashing Apple or a particular product. Honestly, I think his shows have become stale.
    I agree 100%. I used to listen to most of his podcasts, but can't stand to listen to him now. I do remember when Twitter came on the scene and I remember the discussions about the trademark. Despite my personal feelings about the man, I hope he wins out because it's the right thing.
    edited January 2018 spinnyd
  • Reply 7 of 14
    macxpress said:
    Leo can be kind of a douche sometimes. His shows just annoying me now. Any time I happen to watch/listen to My Mac Breaks Weekly, its basically just him bashing Apple or a particular product. Honestly, I think his shows have become stale.
    Kind of?  I used to be an avid listener (and watcher on the old ZDTV) up until probably ten years ago.  I just couldn't take it anymore, so arrogant.  I didn't realize he was still doing his thing and that people were actually still listening.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Blimey. 

    How did they manage to find a lawyer with any staff not currently sueing Apple?
    Mike Wuerthelewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    anome said:

    I seem to recall a similar disagreement over trademarks, which was settled provided one of the companies never branched into music...How did that turn out again?

    With a large settlement paid!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14

    Leo wants to be bought out. 
    After endless hours waxing over the latest Windows Creator’s Update with Mary Jo and Paul Thurott, he wants to move on.
    Anyone who is stuck discussing Windows issues for hours on end could be driven to madness.
    spinnydtokyojimuwatto_cobrarezwits
  • Reply 11 of 14

    pjohnt said:
    macxpress said:
    Leo can be kind of a douche sometimes. His shows just annoying me now. Any time I happen to watch/listen to My Mac Breaks Weekly, its basically just him bashing Apple or a particular product. Honestly, I think his shows have become stale.
    Kind of?  I used to be an avid listener (and watcher on the old ZDTV) up until probably ten years ago.  I just couldn't take it anymore, so arrogant.  I didn't realize he was still doing his thing and that people were actually still listening.
    Whatever you do, do not go to www.totaldrama.net ...
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Dropped off of This Week in Tech due to the endless chitchat and introductions. Can't believe people listen without Dvorak on the show anymore. Still listening to Windows Weekly because of Paul and Mary Jo. Dropped off MacBreak Weekly due to Andy and Leo's always hating on Apple, but would listen if it was JUST Rene and Alex. Hey Leo, Windows Weekly works fine co-hosted by 2 Microsoft fans. Why don't you make MacBreak Weekly like that?
    spinnydwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    narwhal said:
    Dropped off of This Week in Tech due to the endless chitchat and introductions. Can't believe people listen without Dvorak on the show anymore. Still listening to Windows Weekly because of Paul and Mary Jo. Dropped off MacBreak Weekly due to Andy and Leo's always hating on Apple, but would listen if it was JUST Rene and Alex. Hey Leo, Windows Weekly works fine co-hosted by 2 Microsoft fans. Why don't you make MacBreak Weekly like that?
    I still listen to MacBreak Weekly mainly for both Rene and Andy also. Rene can be a bit too much of a rah-rah Apple guy at times, but he seems genuine in his enthusiasm. Plus, he's a good counter for Leo's endless Apple bashing. Andy Ihnatko's shift from being a total Apple fan to becoming a Windows using, Android phone owning crank has been a little surprising.
    edited January 2018 narwhalspinnydmike54watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 14
    mike54mike54 Posts: 306member
    I have I got this right...Twitter after 8 years has decided to branch into video, after they had an agreement they wouldn't and now they are getting sued by TWiT ?
    That's crazy.

    I still listen to Mac Break Weekly. I quite like Rene as he really has genuine enthusiasm and really loves what he is does, its great to see that in people, even though he is a bit too soft on Apple and I wish he would call out Apple on their mistakes.
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