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Twitpic pulls down the shutters after Twitter trademark row

The popular Twitpic service, which enabled users to include photos and videos within tweets long before Twitter added the functionality, has announced it is to shut down.

The start-up, which has been running since 2008, had been involved in a spat with Twitter over its trademark and bosses have decided to shut down the company rather than go up against the social media behemoth.

Twitter requested the company alter its trademark application or risk giving up access to Twitter’s API, meaning Twitpic patrons would no longer be able to operate using the service.

The shutdown, which founder Noah Everett called “unexpected and hard” in a blog post on Thursday, will take place on September 25.

He wrote: “A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the USPTO since 2009.

“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. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic.”

In a statement, Twitter expressed sorry over the shut down, but said its actions reflected a desire to protect its brand.

The company said: “We’re sad to see Twitpic is shutting down. 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 its brand policy, the company says third party companies should not “apply for a trademark with a name including ‘Twitter’, ‘Tweet’, the Twitter bird, transliterations or similar variations thereof.”

Overall, while Twitter retains the right to protect its name, it seems unfortunate that a company which played an important role in boosting the functionality of the social network during its early days would meet such an end.

Read more: Twitter explains why others’ favourites are appearing in timelines

Via: Wall Street Journal

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