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07th Jul 2023

Elon Musk threatens to sue Zuckerberg over ‘copycat’ Threads platform

Jack Peat

Twitter says Meta has engaged in systematic, wilful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s IP

Elon Musk’s Twitter may take Meta to court over the launch of its ‘copycat’ Threads platform, it has warned.

Thirty million people have signed up to the new app since it was launched on Thursday, wooed by its sleek functionality and dismayed by many traditional Twitter features being put behind a ‘blue tick’ paywall.

Writing in The New EuropeanJames Ball said the move to prioritise blue tick content could be the death of Twitter, saying it promotes content that is fundamentally not good.

But while Musk might by shying away from a fight with Zuck in the cages, he’s certainly not going down without a fight in the courtrooms.

A lawyer representing the company released a letter on Thursday that read: ‘Twitter has serious concerns that Meta Platforms (Meta’) has engaged in systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.

‘Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information.”

Spiro accused Meta of hiring dozens of former Twitter employees who ‘had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information.

He also claimed Meta assigned those staffers to create ‘copycat ‘Threads’ with the intent to use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property in order to further the development of Twitter’s competitor.

“Meta is expressly prohibited from engaging in any crawling or scraping of Twitter’s followers or following data. As set forth in Twitter’s Terms of Service, crawling any Twitter services,” the letter stated.

The letter alleged the app is in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees “ongoing obligations to Twitter.”

Time to go grab that kitchen sink!

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