Twitter wants its "tweet" back, but Twittad registered the now-ubiquitous term first.
Fighting over a trademark is somewhat refreshing, given the propensity of Silicon Valley companies fighting multi-front wars over patents. (Google might not do evil, but they sure do legal.)
Twittad is a marketing company that uses the Twitter platform and audience. They trademarked the phrase "Let Your Ad Meet Tweets," according to zdnet.com. Twitter is suing because it believes it deserves the trademark more.
Specifically, the complaint reads:
The defendant's registration unfairly exploits the widespread association by the consuming public of the market 'tweet' with Twitter and threatens to block Twitter from its registration and legitimate uses of its own mark.
It also mentions that, before Twitter, a tweet was just birdson -- unrelated to social networking.
San Francisco-based Twitter already owns retweet and cotweet and a few other terms around their service.
The elephant in the room is the tweet that got away, though.