Tweet Rights

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Sep 26, 2011    •    664 Views

  • Does “Nutcracker Tweet” bird seed have the right to Tweet?
  • Is it okay to name your birdhouse firm “Tweet Tweet Home?” 
  • Can your app say Tweet?

It all depends on the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Twitter wants the tweet trademark. It is suing Twittad to get it. Here is the story at techcrunch.

The Economic Lesson

Whether looking at Louboutin’s red soles, music copyrights, or a tweet trademark, business firms like exclusivity. Think of a competitive market structure continuum in which perfect competition is at the far left and monopoly is at the other end. Moving firms away from a perfectly competitive market structure where products are identical or similar, exclusivity takes them closer to oligopoly and monopoly. As firms move to the right on the scale, they gain greater control over their identity, pricing, and how they will communicate with consumers.

An Economic Question: The US Patent and Trademark Office told shoe firm Louboutin that it had no exclusive right to its red soles while Tweet can be trademarked. Explain why you think the decisions differ.


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