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Gone in a Flash: Twitpic to Shut Down Following Dispute With Twitter

Twitpic, a popular six-year-old photo hosting service billed as the "first ever sharing site for Twitter" is shutting down on Sept. 25.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett wrote in a company blog post that the decision was made following a demand from Twitter to drop its trademark application or "risk losing access" to Twitter's application programming interface, or API.

Related: 7 Reasons Why Trademarks Are Important to Your Business

Twitpic first filed its trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in August 2009, and encountered "several hurdles and difficulties" in the road to approval, according to Everett. The most recent filing for approval was "published for opposition" on June 24, at which point Everett said Twitpic was contacted by Twitter. "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," he wrote.

Related: Looking to Freeze Out Others, ALS Association Wants to Trademark the 'Ice Bucket Challenge'

A Twitter spokesperson said the company is "sad" that Twitpic is closing, but that it also needs to preserve and protect its own brand. "We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name. Of course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes trademarks tied to the brand."

In July, Everett rolled out a new venture, a messaging app called Pingly, which aims to rethink e-mail.

Related: Why Protecting Intellectual Property Is Crucial to Business Success on 5 Counts

Edition: October 2016

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