Trademark dispute causes Twitpic collapse
Twitpic, which since 2011 has been the leading third-party image-hosting service for Twitter, has announced that it will shut down for good on 25 September.
The decision has come after a large-scale dispute with Twitter, in which the social network's legal team demanded the photo-sharing company withdraw its application for a trademark.
Twitter threatened to deny Twitpic access to its application programming interface (API), which is the code that allows the photos to be shared on the social network.
Twitpic announced its imminent closure in a blog post written by founder Noah Everett late last week, who said: "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."
The post went on to provide a brief history of the company's trademark efforts since its inception in 2008, explaining that it first applied in 2009 and has faced numerous difficulties throughout the process.
Twitter says it is protecting its brand
A Twitter spokesperson said: "We are sad to see Twitpic is shutting down. We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, 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."
Twitter has entered into several legal disputes with third-party companies in the past. In September 2011 the company filed a lawsuit against Twittad, as both wanted to obtain the trademark for the word 'tweet'.
Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, commented: "It is a shame that Twitpic is throwing in the towel, but you can see why Twitter has issues with regards to the trademark application. Of course, Twitter now embeds photos on both the website and the app, so some people might argue that Twitpic has become obsolete in a sense."