Will Meta be forced to change the name of Threads, as the result of a new legal action in the UK?
On balance, that seems unlikely, but that’s exactly what the owners of Threads Software Limited are pushing for, which could lead to legal action being taken against the social media giant.
According to a press release, the British software company has informed Meta it has 30 days to cease using the “Threads” title within the UK, otherwise it will seek a court injunction to stop them from using its trademarked business name.
As per the release:
“Threads – an intelligent message hub provided by Threads Software Limited – was conceived and trademarked in 2012 by JPY Ltd. The service has been actively promoted worldwide since 2014. In 2018, the first commercial sale was made in the USA, and as a result JPY Ltd spun off a new company, Threads Software Ltd. It has since licenced nearly 1,000 organisations worldwide with sales currently growing at 200% a year.”
Threads Software Limited is now looking to stop Meta from infringing on its brand name. Which does seem unusual, seeing as though Meta actually already launched another app called “Threads” back in 2019, though that app was designed to be more of a Snapchat competitor than a Twitter clone.
There’s no record of Threads Software being annoyed about that instance, but this time, they’re looking to take the fight to Zuck and Co., which, in all likelihood, will ultimately see Meta pay an undisclosed amount of compensation to Threads Software in order to keep using the Threads name for the app.
Though Threads Software is putting up a fight.
“From April 2023, Meta’s lawyers made four offers to purchase the domain ‘threads.app’ from Threads Software Ltd. Every offer was declined. It was made clear to Meta’s Instagram that the domain was not for sale.”
At a guess, I would assume that Threads Software Limited is looking to up the compensation price by fighting where it can, but ultimately, when you’re up against one of the biggest companies in the world, the outcome is normally predictable.
But it could, at least in theory, force Meta to change Threads to another name, at least in the UK, and it’ll be interesting to see exactly how it plays out in this respect.
Elon Musk’s X is facing several similar lawsuits over its name change, while Meta has also faced several similar battles in the past. History would tell us that money eventually wins out, but it’s another interesting wrinkle within the broader Threads toll out.