Twitpic to shut down over trademark dispute

Twitter HQ, San Francisco Image copyright AP
Image caption Twitter said it was sad that Twitpic was shutting down

Photo-sharing company Twitpic is to close over a trademark dispute with one of its earliest collaborators, Twitter.

Twitpic, which was launched in 2008, said the social network had demanded it drop an application for a trademark.

If not, the photo-sharing firm would have been denied access to data that allowed it to develop for the Twitter platform.

Twitter said it was sad that the firm was shutting down, and that Twitpic could have continued to use its name.

The photo-sharing firm gained a loyal following after its 2008 launch. The company built its third-party service for use on Twitter's platform, and was developed to allow people to post and share pictures on the social network.

Twitter has since added its own photo-sharing feature.

"We're sad to see Twitpic is shutting down," Twitter said in a statement. "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," the company added.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett said that the firm would be shutting down on 25 September, but that it would enable a feature to allow users to export photos and videos within the next few days.

"This is an unexpected and hard announcement for us to make," he said in a blog post.

"Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe wholeheartedly is rightfully ours."

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