Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to launch a “Twitter killer” app called Threads may hit a legal roadblock due to potential trademark infringement. Cynthia Zordich, the creator of a football platform called Thread, has expressed concerns about the similarity between the two names. Thread was launched in 2016 with the aim of connecting women involved in the sport and supporting their business ventures.
Zordich applied for a trademark of the name “Thread” in 2018 through attorney Ben Leece from RatnerPrestia, a Pennsylvania law firm. Although the trademark has been approved, it is still in an opposition period where individuals with conflicting claims can object.
Legal experts suggest that Meta, the company behind Facebook and other popular social media platforms, could face a trademark infringement challenge if they proceed with the launch of Threads. Michael J. Feigin, a specialist in trademark, patent, and copyright issues, explains that Zordich and her attorney could argue that Meta’s Threads would cause confusion in the market, potentially weakening her football-related Thread trademark. According to Feigin, the similarity between “Thread” and “Threads” is significant enough to support this claim.
Cynthia Zordich’s attorney, Ben Leece, has acknowledged the situation but has refrained from commenting on specific actions they might take. However, he highlights Zordich’s unwavering passion for her cause.
This potential dispute raises questions about the use of similar names in the increasingly competitive social networking realm. The outcome of this case could have implications for future trademark disputes within the industry.
Meta’s Naming Controversy Unveils a Heap of Other “Thread” Companies
While Meta remains silent about the matter, it seems that they have unintentionally stepped on the toes of other companies sharing the name “thread.” One such platform, called Threads, has garnered attention in the wake of Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads launch. Unfortunately for Threads, people mistakenly flock to it, believing it to be the new Meta-backed app.
Rousseau Kazi, the CEO and co-founder of Threads, acknowledges why the word “thread” is an appealing choice for many.
“Threads is a powerful word and an internet-native term,” says Kazi, who interestingly has prior experience working at Meta’s Facebook platform. “Given this, it comes as no surprise that Meta chose a powerful label to represent their take at building the town square.”
Kazi has not indicated any intention to pursue legal action against Meta. Instead, it seems his company is using the naming confusion as a promotional opportunity. A spokesperson for Kazi’s company has not yet addressed whether they have filed for a trademark.
This raises the question of whether other “thread” companies could potentially have a legal claim against Meta if they have previously trademarked their name. One example is Zordich, but it remains unclear how these companies will proceed.
The Importance of Trademarks in the Business World
When it comes to trademark infringement, the case largely depends on the nature of the company involved. For instance, companies in the fashion industry with names similar to “thread” may not have a strong legal standing since there is less likelihood of confusion between a fashion-focused business and a social-media platform.
However, in the case of Zordich’s company, which centers around building social connections, experts argue that she may have some legal leverage.
Gerard Filitti, a New York attorney who specializes in trademark issues, points out one potential roadblock for any claims of trademark infringement. He highlights that “thread” is a fairly common word and, therefore, not a strong trademark to begin with.
Interestingly, Meta, the company behind the rival Twitter platform, may already be facing legal challenges of a different nature. Alex Spiro, an attorney representing Twitter, accuses Meta of engaging in unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property. Spiro firmly states that Twitter intends to vigorously protect its intellectual property rights.
While Meta’s Threads has gained significant initial momentum, the key challenge lies in sustaining this success over time.
In response to Meta Threads, the CEO of Twitter emphasizes that although they are often imitated, the unique community of Twitter can never be duplicated.
If you’re considering signing up for Meta Threads, it’s important to think twice before deleting your Twitter account.