>Just got your letter. Don't worry: We're not expanding to audio or video under the Twitter brand. That news story was the result of an over-zealous production company (and extremely sloppy reporting by AP). See our post: http://blog.twitter.com/2009/05/were-not-making-tv-show.html
There's a world of difference between "we are not" vs. "we will not". I am not eating a sandwich right now, but I will most definitely at some point in the future. One would have to be a fool to interpret this as an agreement to never expand into audio/video in all of perpetuity. Furthermore, Twitter's own trademark filing (since 2007) lists "video and audio" as part of the goods and services provided by their brand. Perhaps this argument should have been made in 2007, or when it was published for opposition (which is basically the USPTO's way of saying 'hey, if you are concerned about this trademark infringing your rights... speak up!') in Feb of 2008 (however no such filing was placed according to TTAB's records), not 2018.
Patent trolls wait forever to take action on patent use only after a company gains susbstantial profits. On the other hand, a good example of patent enforcement would be initiating legal action at the first sign of infringement — before profits are made.
It doesn't matter what "most people would agree" if the defendant themselves are on record acknowledging the problem.
I've never heard anyone confuse Apple (The computer company who sell music) with Apple (The record company founded by the beatles), yet you'd be a fool to not see the problem in the overlap when Apple were on contract saying they'd only use it in the computer industry and then started venturing into the music industry.
Meanwhile, Leo Laporte has had people asking him for almost a decade if TWiT is related to Twitter. The marketplace gets confused more easily than you believe. And a founder will get inundated with this confusion when it is about a company as well known as Twitter.
It's usually the case that the property owner is some big multinational company (like Disney or something) and the supposed infringer is some small artist. This time, it's reversed: Twitter is the 900-pound gorilla and TWiT is the plucky underdog. But the principle is the same, this is an absurd lawsuit only possible because of the modern legal system's screwed up obsession with intellectual property.
It's been a nightmare trying to play TWiT on my Google Home Mini. I tried asking it "Play TWiT Live on iHeartRadio", and it replied "I looked for Twitter Live on iHeartRadio, but it either isn't available or can't be played right now". I get a similar response to "Play TWiT Live on TuneIn", though it usually turns that one into "Tweet Live".
Feels like shake-down-waiting-to-happen more than cease-and-desist case.
>>Quite simply, the view that a trademark holder must trawl the internet and respond to every unauthorized use (or even every infringing use) is a myth. It’s great for lawyers, but irritating and expensive for everyone else. And when done clumsily or maliciously, it chills free expression.
I would not be so sure on that, atleast not when it comes to legal confusion. After all no one Confused Apple the computer corporation, with a Grocery Store that used a Apple as a logo, yet Apple the Computer Corporation used market confusion to squash their logo....
I think i'll call it Twicflix.
Oh, and some of the old team pop in Kate Botello, Patrick Norton, etc.
So there's one benefit to suing Twitter - it gets your name in the media again and all of us old timers can reminisce and catch up on the new series.
If they spread the role of hosting around more like they did back in the day I would love it. But most episodes didn't feel like TSS, they felt like The Leo Show with Leo Laporte starring Leo Laporte.
Now, there is no premium on tech content. One no longer needs to seek out Leo Laporte to hear what’s going on in tech or roundtable discussions about it.
Moreover, most people are increasingly used to internet-first voices in the media they consume. You don't need to be able to hold forth for hours without an "uh" or a misplaced breath to have a hugely popular and highly remunerative show. And, on top of that, while podcasts are thriving, video is thriving even more. "Video natives" are the best paid people you've never heard of. TWiT is in danger of becoming a relic.
I've stopped listening to TWiT network shows since. Not out of resentment, but because I just got tired of Leo.
Either way, should be interesting to see the resolution to this.
Even though they share the same channel (text, audio, etc.), those are not replaceable things. Or at least that's my opinion.
Which is also the name of the network, which has a bunch of other shows besides TWIT.
Consider the following scenarios:
1. Suppose there was a board meeting in which William had voted No on the expansion, since thr majority ruled in favor of the expansion, could plantiff now argue the new management was aware of this implicit agreement? Had William ever shared this information with anyone else?
2. If not, and if the board and the CEO were not aware of this implicit agreement until recently - whether William had forgotten about this whole agreement or not, then is Twitter obligated to honor this implicit agreement?
It seems Twitter should honor the agreement because William represented Twitter when he made that correspondence. However, it is not uncommon for one CEO to write “We do not have a plan to sign a contract with your competitor yet”, then after his or her resignation, the new CEO can join force with the competitor. That’s perfectly legal and has always been done before. If a resturant owner said “I will never stop ordering wines from you”, then the new owner doesn’t have to honor this causal “promise”.
Let’s see how the court takes this case.
Just ask yourself whether this would be a good general policy: corporations get to escape contracts if their exec promises something and then leaves, or they just 'conveniently' forgets to inform other execs. In that world, how can any two corporations agree on anything?
Note that if an exec really does enter in a huge future liability and fails to inform the corporation, the usual way it should be resolved is the corporation is still liable, and then the corporation sues the former exec for failure to execute duties properly, with the sudden unanticipated liabilities going towards proving damages.
Twitter have gone lumbering into Leo's registered trademark class: "IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Entertainment in the nature of visual and audio performances, and musical, variety, news and comedy shows."
What do you think they'd do if he started a microblogging service under the TWiT name?
I also noticed that in the linked complaint, TWiT still insists on calling their productions "netcasts" instead of podcasts. The market isn't similarly confused over requiring an iPod to listen to podcasts, Leo...
This page shows the UI, at the time, pretty well:
Leo also tends to invite people who cannot speak, they "erm" every two words, and I also remember a lady saying "like" like every other word, like you get my point, like go see a speech specialist, like you get me.
One more point on the "not cool", two years back he made a switch from having an opinion on things to just sucking up on everyone (good and/or bad). I think that ad slowed down so he changed his tune.
According to one of the things Fr. Robert said on air, they're making a studio in the Vatican. Perhaps we'll still see some tech talk coming from him once it's done.
It's a good reminder to those of us who assume otherwise that otherwise perfectly intelligent, rational and seemingly polite and reasonable people can be completely blind to this sort of thing.
Accidentally streaming his private porn habits repeatedly.