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Twitter Threatens Legal Action Against Meta's Threads App, Citing IP Infringement

Updated: Jan 5

Twitter has accused Meta of unlawfully using its trade secrets and intellectual property in the newly launched Threads app, escalating tensions between the social media giants.


Meta denies the allegations and asserts that the Threads engineering team doesn't include former Twitter employees. The rivalry intensifies as users seek alternatives to Twitter following unpopular changes by Elon Musk. However, Meta's track record and data privacy concerns raise doubts about Threads' long-term success.

Twitter has issued a legal threat against Meta, the creator of Threads, a text-based app that has gained substantial popularity since its recent launch. With millions of users flocking to Threads, this application poses as a competitor to Elon Musk's social media platform, intensifying the conflict between the two tech giants.

Alex Spiro, an attorney representing Twitter, sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, accusing Meta of illegally employing former Twitter employees to develop a "copycat" app. The letter asserts that Meta is infringing upon Twitter's trade secrets and intellectual property, leading Twitter to consider taking legal action.

Threads, unveiled on Wednesday, aims to attract users dissatisfied with recent alterations made by Elon Musk after acquiring Twitter for $44 billion. Meta spokesperson Andy Stone responded to the allegations, stating that there are no former Twitter employees in the Threads engineering team.

The letter, initially reported by Semafor, serves as a formal notice for Meta to preserve relevant documents in anticipation of a potential legal dispute between the two companies. Twitter emphasises its intent to vigorously protect its intellectual property rights and highlights its entitlement to seek civil remedies or court injunctions.

In response to a tweet regarding potential legal action against Meta, Elon Musk tweeted, "Competition is fine, cheating is not," suggesting his stance on the matter. The Associated Press reached out to Alex Spiro for further details, while Twitter provided an automated response to an email inquiry, their standard practice for journalist requests.

Although Twitter's new CEO, Linda Yaccarino, has not publicly addressed the letter, she appeared to indirectly acknowledge the launch of Threads. In a tweet, Yaccarino stated, "We're often imitated - but the Twitter community can never be duplicated."

Some analysts anticipate that Meta's Threads, touted as a text-based version of Instagram, could pose a significant challenge to Twitter. The enthusiasm surrounding Threads' launch and its impressive download numbers contribute to this viewpoint. However, skeptics point to Meta's history of launching standalone apps that were eventually discontinued and Threads is still in its early stages.

Apart from occasional glitches and complaints about missing features, Meta's Threads app faces concerns about data privacy. Although available in over 100 countries, the app is notably inaccessible in the European Union due to the region's strict data privacy regulations.

  • Twitter threatens legal action against Meta's Threads app for alleged IP infringement.

  • Threads gains significant user traction, targeting those seeking alternatives to Twitter.

  • Meta denies using former Twitter employees and disputes the allegations.

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