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Marketing Company Sues Elon Musk's X Corp for Twitter Rebrand That Caused 'Serious Irreparable Harm' to Its Business X Social Media claims that X Corp's rebrand has caused consumer confusion and harmed its brand, which has used "X" in its name since 2016.

By Madeline Garfinkle Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • X Social Media filed a lawsuit against X Corp, seeking to protect its trademark rights and damages for financial losses.
  • X Social Media claims X Corp's rebrand has seriously damaged its business by causing consumer confusion.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A legal battle has unfolded over a single letter, and the fate of its rightful ownership looms.

Legal marketing company X Social Media is suing X Corp (formerly Twitter) because it alleges the platform's rebrand has infringed on its trademark and caused consumer confusion.

In the lawsuit, filed on Monday in a federal court in Florida, the marketing company says that it has used "X" as part of its name since "at least" 2016 and that the company has used the letter in its name to symbolize the "act of obtaining hope" through social media for individuals facing various injustices. Meanwhile, Elon Musk rebranded the widely-known social media platform Twitter as "X" in July, aiming for it to be an "everything app."

Now, X Social Media claims that X Corp's rebrand under Musk "has caused and will continue to cause serious irreparable harm" to X Social Media.

"X Corp has wielded its social media clout, marketing resources, and overall national notoriety to dominate consumer perception of its 'X' mark," the lawsuit states. "This has resulted in the perception that X Corp is the source for services offered under the X SocialMedia Mark, despite the fact that X Social Media has offered services under its own X mark for over eight years."

The lawsuit seeks to protect X Social Media's trademark rights and seeks damages for the financial harm caused by X Corp's alleged trademark infringement and consumer confusion.

Although the financial damages X Social Media seeks remain undisclosed, the marketing company says in its suit that it has invested more than $400 million in advertising and more than $2 million to build brand awareness related to its name.

Related: Twitter User Who Had the 'X' Handle Says He Was Kicked Out of His Account by Elon Musk: 'All's Well That Ends Well'

X Social Media alleges that X Corp was "well aware" of the legal implications of using "X" but chose to pursue its "X" agenda anyway, causing consumer confusion and "harm" to X Social Media. The marketing company also states that X Corp continued to use the mark after it sent a cease-and-desist letter in August.

The strength of X Social Media's case remains uncertain. Alexandra Roberts, a law and media professor at Northeastern University, told The Verge in July that a trademark doesn't necessarily have to be highly unique to receive legal protection, but what matters is if people associate the trademark with a specific brand.

"There are thousands of single-letter trademark registrations; many, but not all, of them are more elaborately stylized than the one that now appears on the site formerly known as Twitter," she told the outlet. "Given the large user base on Twitter and the number of people following and reporting on this rebrand, I expect it wouldn't take very long to establish that the new 'X' functions as a trademark and consumers associate it with Twitter's services or brand."

Related: A Twitter User Turned Down Offers to Sell His Popular Account. Elon Musk's X Just 'Ripped It Away' — Here's How He's Striking Back.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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