TwitPic, a photo-sharing app for Twitter users is set to shut down after Twitter enforced trademark rights over the service that was used to share images in the site.
Launched in 2008 by Noah Everett, the TwitPic app was used to extensively by users to share images and the app’s name was the cause of Twitter bringing up the trademark issue. Though TwitPic had a trademark application for its name with the US Patents and Trademark Office, Twitter had threatened the company to drop the patent application or lose API access to the site. Everett decided to shut down after the company’s move.
TwitPic founder, Noah Everett said:
“We originally filed for our trademark in 2009 and our first use in commerce dates back to February 2008 when we launched. We encountered several hurdles and difficulties in getting our trademark approved even though our first use in commerce predated other applications, but we worked through each challenge and in fact had just recently finished the last one. During the “published for opposition” phase of the trademark is when Twitter reached out to our counsel and implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark.
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.”
TwitPic has announced that it will end its service on September 25, thanked and blamed Twitter for its shutdown. A Twitter spokesperson stated that the company had told TwitPic to continue using the name but it had to enforce trademark rights. He added that Twitter was firm in protecting the brand. TwitPic admits that it does not have financial or legal resources to take on a large company like Twitter.
With the shutdown of the service, TwitPic will roll out an export option that will transfer the images from the app. Earlier, the company had rolled out a new feature for Facebook users to share images. However Facebook’s Instagram caught up in popularity, bringing down the number of TwitPic users. Twitter also mentioned that it was saddened by Everett’s decision to shut down the company on September 25.
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