Last year, Elon Musk acquired Twitter, and since then, the social media platform has undergone significant changes, the most notable being its rebranding to X. The iconic bluebird has made way for the letter X, but it seems this rebranding might lead the company into legal trouble.
According to Reuters, X Corp was slapped with a federal lawsuit in Florida on Monday by a legal marketing company alleging that the new name of the social media infringes on its trademark, which incorporates the letter “X.” X Social Media, based in Florida and specializing in mass-tort litigation advertising, claims that Elon Musk’s company’s rebranding from Twitter to X is likely to cause consumer confusion.
Founded in 2015 by Jacob and Roseanna Malherbe, X Social Media served to connect Florida panhandle residents with attorneys following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The agency has used the name “X Social Media” since 2016 and holds a federal trademark for it.
The lawsuit states that the agency has invested over $400 million in Facebook advertising to reach potential clients. The rebranding of Twitter has allegedly confused customers, resulting in revenue loss for X Social Media.
The lawsuit also contends that X Corp’s trademark applications include services similar to X Social Media’s offerings, such as business data analysis and market research. Despite a cease-and-desist letter sent by X Social Media in August, X Corp chose to continue using the mark.
“In a short time, X Corp has wielded its social media clout, marketing resources, and overall national notoriety to dominate consumer perception of its ‘X’ mark,” the lawsuit claims. X Social Media is urging the court to compel Musk’s company to cease using the “X” name and is seeking unspecified damages.
This case could be the first of several trademark disputes with Musk’s company over the use of the letter “X,” a common element in tech branding. Companies like Microsoft and Meta already hold hundreds of federal trademarks featuring the letter “X,” while X Corp applied for its own US trademarks covering the letter just last month.