According to Josh Gerben, the social media platform could be embroiled in lawsuits over its “X” branding for years, costing upward of millions of dollars.
Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney with Gerben Intellectual Property, has suggested the company formerly known as Twitter could spend upward of $100 million in dealing with litigation as a result of the X rebranding.
In a July 25 X thread, Gerben predicted that lawsuits against X related to trademark infringement could appear in United States courtrooms “in the next few weeks,” with legal problems on the international stage likely to be a “very big issue” for years. U.S.-based companies including Microsoft and Meta already own similar “X” trademarks for different products and services, and many others may have grounds for a lawsuit against X.
“To cast aside an asset this valuable [the blue bird] in favor of a new trademark is unprecedented in history,” said Gerben. “If Elon had stuck with the Twitter brand, his company would likely not spend a dime to justify its Twitter trademark on just about anything he wanted to do with the brand.”
Former Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced the rebranding would be taking place on July 23, with the company’s iconic blue bird being replaced by a black and white “X” logo. X Corp is the parent company of Twitter, established by Musk in March. The platform’s search bar still bears its former namesake at the time of publication, as does the blue “tweet” button and retweet counter.
Many on the platform have criticized the rebranding as not well thought out. Musk himself was unable to provide a definitive answer as to the new name of a retweet in a July 24 thread. He has also hinted that users should expect to conduct their “entire financial world” on the X platform with plans to offer services affecting “half of the global financial system.”
The move is the latest controversy by one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. Musk took over Twitter in October 2022 following a $44 billion agreement, later firing members of the company’s executive team and phasing out the platform’s legacy verification system — blue checkmarks — in favor of various paid options.
Though Musk briefly changed the Twitter logo to that of the Dogecoin (DOGE) shiba inu in April, many on the platform speculated at the time that the decision was only temporary. For the rebranding to X, the company’s logo on its brick-and-mortar headquarters in San Francisco may soon change from a bird to a letter:
After 17 years with the iconic blue bird logo, billionaire Elon Musk had the Twitter sign removed from the San Francisco, California headquarters as the social media company rebrands to X. https://t.co/ZJdgeOV3uV pic.twitter.com/UIie1S5T1j
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 25, 2023
Under Musk, U.S. advertising revenue for Twitter reportedly dropped roughly 59% from April to May compared to that over the same period in 2022. Former NBCUniversal exec Linda Yaccarino took over as CEO in May, while Musk continues to actively post on the social media site.