Elon Musk’s recent rebranding of Twitter to X has landed his company, X Corp., in legal trouble. A Florida-based social media ad agency, X Social Media, has filed a trademark lawsuit against X Corp., claiming that the rebranding infringes on its own mark. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Elon Musk’s X Corp. is facing a trademark lawsuit from X Social Media, a Florida-based social media ad agency. The lawsuit alleges that the rebranding of Twitter to X infringes on X Social Media’s mark and causes consumer confusion. X Social Media seeks to prohibit X Corp. from using the “X” mark and demands damages.
The complaint, reported by Bloomberg Law, states that X Social Media has been using the X Social Media Mark in commerce since early 2016. The company has invested significantly in marketplace awareness, developing a distinctive “X” mark that represents its social media advertising services. Notably, X Social Media’s “X” is a figure of a person holding a pair of scales, symbolizing its specialization in serving clients in the legal industry.
Despite the visual dissimilarity between X Social Media’s “X” and Musk’s “X,” the complaint argues that Twitter’s rebranding infringes on X Social Media’s mark. It further alleges that the rebranding has caused consumer confusion, with people mistakenly believing that X Social Media’s advertising services are associated with X Corp.
In addition, the complaint points out that X Corp.’s trademark applications include services similar to those offered by X Social Media, such as business data analysis, promotional services, and market research.
Legal Action and Demands
Prior to filing the lawsuit, X Social Media sent a cease-and-desist letter to X Corp. in August, requesting the company to stop using the “X” mark. However, X Corp. declined to comply.
In its lawsuit, X Social Media seeks a court order to prohibit X Corp. from using the “X” mark in its advertising and marketing materials. It also demands that X Corp. publish corrective advertising to address consumer confusion. Furthermore, X Social Media is seeking damages.
Potential Impact and Previous Lawsuits
This lawsuit by X Social Media may be the first of many against Musk’s X Corp. In fact, trademark attorney Josh Gerben previously stated that there was a “100% chance” Twitter would face lawsuits over the rebranding.
Bloomberg’s report highlights that major tech rebrands often result in lawsuits. Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, for example, led to multiple lawsuits from various companies. Additionally, Block, formerly known as Square, settled with tax preparation service H&R Block after its rebranding.