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In a latest development, Twitter is filing a trademark claim on subtweet. It is a term used for the act of tweeting about someone without explicitly naming them.
If enforced, any commercial use of subtweet would be prohibited without Twitter’s permission. Twitter recently also included “sub tweet” with a space in the middle in the same filing to cover all its bases. A prior filing also exists for the arguably lesser-known word, tweetstorm.
Twitter attempted trademarking the vanilla term tweet in the past, but lost due to the widespread public use of the term superseding Twitter before it could a hold of the claim. Considering it originated from the public and not Twitter employees, the claim on subtweet may likely meet a similar fate.
Moreover, terms for Twitter’s subsidiary video sharing platform, Vine, are also under consideration with the company eyeing words such as viner and revine for trademark. As to what Twitter’s aims are with trademarking several of its company’s terminology, the matter is less about securing commercial rights and more managing an image.
While subtweet might never see everyday use outside the space of 140 characters, one cannot fault Twitter for being as cautious with their terminology as it is with the rest of its brand.