Trademark dispute with Twitter forces Twitpic to shut down

It looks like Twitter is using its legal powers to force Twitpic to shut down over trademark disputes. Effective September 25th, the Twitter-linked photo sharing service will cease to operate. According to Twitpic, a tool should become available over the next few days that will allow current users to export their photos and videos should they choose to archive their shared multimedia content for longevity after the service is gone.

"A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API," Twitpic said in a blog post citing the reason why they are closing their doors. "Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic."

Are you sad to see Twitpic go? Let us know in the comments. Are there any old memories that you will be archiving when the new tool goes live over the next few days?

Source: Twitpic

 

Reader comments

Trademark dispute with Twitter forces Twitpic to shut down

40 Comments

That's what I'm saying. At this point they almost seemed to be partners. What a dick head move on twitters part.

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That's understandable.. But they let them live this long, and worked very fluently with each other to the point where if you would have asked me, I would have told you Twitter owned them and it was part of Twitter. Just doesn't make sense that Twitter would have attacked them after this long, possibly buy them out, but not attack them with lawsuits.

That could be EXACTLY why they're enforcing these trademark rights now. The primary purpose of trademark law is to prevent consumer confusion.

Yeah really, they've been around for a very long time. Pretty weak, pretty much why I hardly use Twitter as well.

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What a nice way to show their gratitude for a service that filled a huge functionality-hole for such a long time before Twitter offered their own image upload services. Just like with 3rd party apps, where would Twitter have been without them in the "early" days of their service!?!?

Exactly, Twitter just keeps burning them bridges, I won't be sad to see it die eventually. Hopefully it comes about because of idiocy like this.

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Wait wait wait. If all it is is a trademark dispute, right or wrong, all they have to do is change their name to continue operating. I suspect there's something else going on here...

It's possible that given the way Twitter treats 3rd party devs they simply decided that they could better spend their time and resources on something else.

Engadget is reporting that Noah already has another startup in the works called "Pingly," so that may be a part of it as well. It's a good thing he didn't call his new venture Gmaily...

As long as people use Twitter no one cares. Thank God I don't use these twits

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Shame, who hasn't used Twitpic at one point or another on Twitter?

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they have enough money to buy Twitpic and use the internals for more but they would rather put them out of jobs smh

If I were twitpic I would follow though with the trademark! Twitter hasn't tried to stop them legally (maybe b/c that cant at this point?) on the trademark aspect. Just by crippling them by threatening to remove their API access if they did drop their trademark request. I'd be willing to be if twitpic did drop their trademark request Twitter will swoop in a file their own request for the twitpic name. I'm by no means a lawyer but I think it makes sense..... or is my logic flawed?

I think in a broad sense you are right, but business decisions aren't about "sticking it to the man" nor should they be. Twitpic is in an awkward situation because their entire service is dependent on Twitter. There is no good reason for their business to have that name without twitter access and if twitter intends to replace them with its own service, there isn't much they can do to stop it. Taking what profits they've gained and shutting down makes the most sense.

And, yes twitter regularly screws over its 3rd party providers.

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"business decisions aren't about "sticking it to the man" nor should they be. "

Politely disagree... egos get [much] bigger higher up the ladder. There are countless examples, from the days of the so-called robber barons through Gates reign at MS to so many of the exec teams today. Power tends to corrupt. Playing nice doesn't have to mean being soft or losing $ -- it's just shunned by those enamored of their success because, well, they feel don't have to.

It's a select group of peoples here. Most of the older staff here are good about getting the full story out.

I believe they have a bunch of interns fulling space on slow news days... Most of their stories end something like:

"Are you sad/happy/upset/over joyed/blue in the face/ to see [fill-in the blank] go/come/leave/blow up/get sued? Let us know in the comments."
---------
"Today Twitter told us we were being sued for 50 gazillion bucks unless we changed our name to Giant Baby Elephant Nut Pictures [GBENP for short]."

Do you think its fair that Twitter is suing Bruce Lee's estate for Squirrel Nuts. Let us know int the comments.

In their defense, it's not like the Blog Post from the source said much more than what AC reported. The timeline is vague, the details are scant, and the reasoning on the decision is abrupt, at best.

Twitter should have just bought Twitpic but going this route shows Twitter as a bully, in my opinion.

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Twitter has been being a bully to any 3rd party tools for a while now. The way they treated 3rd party twitter apps is what made me quit using Twitter completely.

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I'm sad to see the trademark provision in our law being abused. Just like patents. Twitter has the word "Twitter" trademarked. Not the word "Twitpic". This is why I stopped using Twitter years ago.

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Twitter never disputed that their trademark was valid. They just said if they continue with it they would revoke their API access. Regardless, it's still ethically wrong of Twitter.

This is not necessarily abuse. Trademark law does not only prevent a third party from using a carbon copy of another company's trademark. Variations of a trademark that are likely to cause consumer confusion are also generally prohibited, and for good reason.

Twitter must have hired Apple's Lawyers. Like Twitter themselves, they only hire people with no conscience.

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