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Trademark litigation focused on the letter X

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2024 | Intellectual Property

The letter “X” is often used in the technology branding industry. This may be because X often represents an unknown, such as its use as a variable in Algebraic math. The unknown creates an air of mystery that, of course, can be a valuable business advertising tool. Iconic business mogul Elon Musk apparently liked the letter X so much that he chose it to rebrand the former Twitter platform, which he purchased in 2022. Since then, he has become the defendant in a trademark litigation case where the plaintiff claims that Musk has infringed on its X trademark.  

The company in question is X Social Media. In a lawsuit the company filed in federal court, the ad agency alleged that Musk’s use of the letter X in his rebranding campaign will undoubtedly confuse its customers. However, X Social Media is not the only company that uses the letter X as part of its trademark. In fact, major brands like Microsoft and Meta do, too, among many others. 

Musk has applied for a trademark to use the letter X 

Sometime in February, Elon Musk applied for a U.S. trademark to cover his use of the letter X for X Corp., which is the official new name of the former Twitter platform. X Social Media says it owns a federal trademark covering use of the letter X and has been using it in its company’s name for approximately eight years. The company also asserted in its lawsuit against Musk that it has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Facebook advertisements using X as part of its brand.  

Trademark litigation is complex  

Trademarks are a complex area of the law. If someone has formal permission to use a word, letter, symbol, etc., exclusively, and another company incorporates the same word or symbol into its own brand, this is known as trademark infringement or diluting a trademark. A New York attorney with intellectual property law experience can offer guidance and support to anyone facing legal complications due to trademark issues.  


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