The news that image hosting website Twitpic is closing down due to a trademark dispute was largely reported uncritically, with the resulting ‘big versus small trademark owner’ narrative a familiar one for those working in IP. However, Twitter’s response highlights how a speedy PR operation can turn around perceptions.  

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RE: Responsive PR is a must when media cries ‘trademark bully’

I was also disappointed by the uncritical reporting, and my thoughts were exactly the same as Harley's: that TwitPic was failing, and looking to point the finger of blame elsewhere (

It seems that TwitPic got the outcome it was hoping for, though. It has just announced (on Twitter, of course) that it has been acquired by a mystery saviour, and will live on past 25 September:

I hope, for the acquirer's sake, that TwitPic's PR stunt has not damaged the relationship with Twitter, which is really more generous than it needs to be in allowing third parties to use and benefot from its trade marks.

Anonymous user, on 18 Sep 2014 @ 23:40

RE: Responsive PR is a must when media cries ‘trademark bully’

This entire discussion reminds me of the distributor in some country crying the blues to its licensor that the counterfeiters have stolen the market and thus the distributor's sales have gone down and thus the distributor can't make his promised minimum sales. While sometimes true, the story is often used as an excuse for simply marketing badly or some other reason unrelated to fakes. Sounds like Twitpic was on the way to an unsustainable result and took advantage of the Twitter issue to offer a reason to close other than the model simply didn't work.

Harley I Lewin, McCarter & English LLP on 15 Sep 2014 @ 16:07

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