Twitter may sue Meta over its challenger app Threads
Twitter has threatened Meta with legal action following the successful launch of Meta's new Twitter rival, Threads.
In a letter dated July 5th, Twitter attorney Alex Spiro accused Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg of "systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter's trade secrets and other intellectual property" in the course of creating Threads.
Spiro claimed that Meta hired dozens of former Twitter workers who "had and continue to have access to Twitter's trade secrets and other highly confidential information," which aided Meta in developing the "copycat" Threads app.
"Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information," the letter says.
Spiro’s letter also warned against engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitter’s followers or following data, stating "Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice" and instructing Twitter to preserve any documents that could be relevant to a dispute between Twitter, Meta, and/or former Twitter employees who now work for Meta.
In response to Twitter's charge, Meta's communications director Andy Stone stated on Threads, "No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee - that's just not a thing."
Stone’s comment prompted Elon Musk to tweet, "Competition is fine, cheating is not”.
The company directed Meta to take "immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information."
Media outlet Reuters reported Stanford law professor Mark Lemley’s views about the allegation.
He believes that Twitter may need much more detail than what is alleged in Spiro’s letter in order to proceed.
"The mere hiring of former Twitter employees (who Twitter itself laid off or drove away) and the fact that Facebook created a somewhat similar site is unlikely to support a trade secrets claim," Lemley said.
PitchMark helps innovators deter idea theft, so that third parties that they share their idea with get the idea but don’t take it. Visit PitchMark.net and register for free as a PitchMark member today.