X Corp, formerly Twitter, is now facing a federal lawsuit in Florida filed by X Social Media, a legal-marketing firm. X Social Media alleges that X Corp’s new name infringes on its trademark, which includes the letter “X,” potentially causing consumer confusion.
This lawsuit appears to be the first in a series of potential trademark disputes with Elon Musk’s company over the letter “X,” a common element in tech branding.
Hundreds of federal trademarks, including those held by companies like Microsoft and Meta Platforms, incorporate the letter “X.” Last month, X Corp applied for its own U.S. trademarks covering the letter.
X Social Media, headquartered in Windermere, Florida, focuses on mass-tort litigation advertising. Founded in 2015 by Jacob and Roseanna Malherbe, the agency aimed to connect Florida panhandle residents with attorneys following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
According to the lawsuit, the agency has been using the name “X Social Media” since 2016 and owns a federal trademark for it. It also claimed to have invested over USD 400 million in Facebook advertising to reach potential clients.
X Social Media tried resolving the trademark issue amicably, sending a cease-and-desist letter to X Corp in August 2023. X Corp. didn’t comply, continuing to use the contested mark. The lawsuit states that:
X Social Media attempted to resolve the infringing use of its trademark prior to filing this action in federal court by sending X Corp. a cease and desist letter in August 2023. X Corp. declined to cease use of the mark and continued to disregard the rights of X Social Media.
The lawsuit asserts that Twitter’s rebranding has already led to customer confusion and revenue loss for X Social Media. It seeks a court order to stop Musk’s company from using the “X” name and requests unspecified monetary damages.