I recently searched Twitter for Twitterheads using trademarks of Coca Cola in their username or name. I found less than expected – somewhere in the range of 80 Twitterheads. Most of them were unrelated to the subject of the all American soft drink. About 24, however, appeared to be using the term Coke or Coca Cola in reference to the soft drink company. Again, most of these were benign and would not likely cause any dilution of or a likelihood of confusion with the Coca Cola Company’s trademarks. Some were fans, others were critics.
One of my favorite Coca Cola Twitterheads was username coke_blog. You can find his blog at www.coca-colaconversations.com. According to his blog site, he was the historian/archivist for Coca Cola for 30 years. It is not clear whether coke_blog has any official ongoing affiliation with the Coca Cola Company, although I did not attempt to confirm one way or the other.
There were also about 8 or 9 Twitterheads that were using combinations of Coca Cola trademarks and trade dress more closely approaching trademark infringement. A couple of them were probably no-brainers. These more problematic user accounts ranged among Twittersquatting (something akin to cybersquatting except that a username is at issue instead of a domain name), misuse of trademarks as actual names, and misuse of trademarks and trade dress on Twitterhead profiles.
In an upcoming blog I will be discussing legal issues surrounding Twittersquatting in more depth, so stay tuned.
Twitterpated – confused by affection or infatuation. See Dictionary.com.
Twitterhead – one who twitters. Although see Urban Dictionary for an alternative definition.
Twittersquatting – something akin to cybersquatting except that a username is at issue instead of a domain name. See Slashdot.