The big rebranding news this month is Elon Musk’s renaming Twitter to, yes, you probably know already, X. You may ask, can you even file a trademark registration for a single letter? The answer is definitely “yes” so long as the mark is distinctive for the class of goods and services it is registered to identify. Just by way of example, for the first three letters of the alphabet there are 2,641 registered marks for A; 1,870 registered marks for B; and 1,775 registered marks for C.
These trademarks, of course, come in different fonts and designs and identify numerous different classes of goods and services. For the X mark, the PTO database contains records for 986 registered marks. Of these, 12 of them list “social networking” in their descriptions of goods and services. Indeed, one of the owners is the Microsoft Corporation (reg. no. 5,777,374), which has a registration for X in International Class 045 for
online social networking services; online social networking services, namely facilitating social introductions or interactions among individual; social networking services in the field of entertainment, gaming and application development, providing information about social networking that involves online gaming, online video games and online video gaming applications; providing an Internet website portal for engaging in social networking; providing information news commentary in the field of social networking
Although the description does not describe the Twitter micro blog, it is certainly broad enough to include it. Does Elon Musk or his company own a trademark application or registration for X? We couldn’t find one. Do you think he can obtain one? We don’t, unless he buys the mark from Microsoft at some Xorbitant price. Do you think Microsoft needs the cash?
— Adam G. Garson, Esq.