Do any of you still use Twitpic, the image hosting service once synonymous with posting pictures on Twitter? TOUGH SHIT: the site is shutting down because Twitter threatened
to sue them.
A few weeks ago Twitter contacted our legal demanding that we abandon our trademark application or risk losing access to their API. This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around since early 2008, and our trademark application has been in the USPTO since 2009.
Here is some backstory on the history of our trademark:
We originally filed for our trademark in 2009 and our first use in commerce dates back to February 2008 when we launched. We encountered several hurdles and difficulties in getting our trademark approved even though our first use in commerce predated other applications, but we worked through each challenge and in fact had just recently finished the last one. During the "published for opposition" phase of the trademark is when Twitter reached out to our counsel and implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark.
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours. Therefore, we have decided to shut down Twitpic.
This genuinely sucks for people who were using Twitpic to host a large collection of images, but for the rest of us, let's just enjoy the classic Trey Songz cyber-anthem, above.
Update: A spokesperson from Twitter wrote in to say:
We're sad to see Twitpic is shutting down. We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name. Of course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes trademarks tied to the brand.
This spokesperson also clarified that "nowhere in their blog post did they allege we were going to sue them," though that blog post still does say that Twitter's legal team threatened them.