Sometimes it’s nice to see how the world turns upside down. How the small one confronts the giant. How David and Goliath come back to life in the form of a legal battle. Today, we tell the story of a small company that has sued the American giant… for having used its name.
This represents another case of a small company suing an internet giant for allegedly using a registered name.
A British software company has informed Meta that it has 30 days to stop using the term “Threads” for its latest social media platform in the United Kingdom, as it owns the trademark.
Threads Software Limited states that its lawyers have informed Meta that they will seek an injunction from the courts if Facebook’s parent company continues to use the name “Threads” after the 30-day deadline.
A social network that was founded in 2012
Threads is an intelligent cloud-based messaging hub that captures, transcribes, and organizes all digital messages, emails, and phone calls of a company into an easily searchable database. It is provided by Threads Software Limited and was conceived and registered in 2012 by JPY Ltd.
The Threads service has been actively promoted worldwide since 2014, and after its first commercial sale in the United States in 2018, JPY Ltd spun off a new company, Threads Software Ltd.
According to the press release, since then, Threads Software Ltd has licensed its service to nearly 1,000 organizations worldwide, with sales currently growing at an annual rate of 200%.
It appears that Meta was aware of Threads before launching its platform with the same name. The company’s lawyers made four offers to purchase the domain “threads.app” from Threads Software Ltd starting from April 2023, all of which were rejected.
Meta announced Threads in July 2023, the same time, according to the British company, it was removed from Facebook.
“Facing a $150 billion company is not an easy decision for us to make. We have invested 10 years in our platform, establishing a recognized brand in the name Threads. Our business is now under serious threat from one of the world’s largest technology companies,” stated Dr. John Yardley, CEO of Threads Software Ltd. “We recognize this as the classic ‘David and Goliath’ battle against Meta. And even though they may think they can use any name they want, that doesn’t give them the right to use the Threads brand.”
An app that is succeeding after a challenging start
Similar to Twitter (now X), which is being sued by a company with the same name, Threads is one of those terms used by multiple organizations. Among them are the football platform Thread and a Slack-style platform called Threads from a San Francisco startup.
In a less related context, there is also a heart-wrenching 1984 British film called Threads about the aftermath of a nuclear war that traumatized many who watched it.
The Threads app has become very successful, currently boasting nearly 100 million active users per month. This achievement is noteworthy because shortly after the social network’s launch, user engagement had plummeted by 70%, and the average usage time for Threads’ Android and iOS apps had dropped from 19 minutes a day to just four minutes.
Despite the initial lack of interest, new features and integration with Instagram were added in August. Meta has also faced copyright infringement lawsuits since changing its brand from Facebook in 2021. This change led a company named MetaX to file a lawsuit last year.