Threads Software Limited, the developer behind the innovative cloud-based intelligent message hub, “Threads,” has sent a strong warning to Meta, the parent company of Facebook. The British firm has declared its intent to pursue legal action through the courts if Meta continues to employ the name “Threads” beyond a 30-day grace period.
Threading through Trouble
“Threads” is a cloud based intelligent message hub that captures, transcribes, and efficiently organizes digital messages, emails, and phone calls into a single, easily searchable database. Conceived and trademarked in 2012 by JPY Ltd, this service has been actively promoted globally since 2014.
Threads made its debut in the United States in 2018 when JPY Ltd established Threads Software Ltd as a new entity. Since then, it has achieved widespread recognition and remarkable success, with Threads Software Ltd recently reporting that they have licensed the platform to nearly 1,000 organizations worldwide, experiencing staggering annual sales growth of 200%.
The ongoing dispute between Threads Software Limited and Meta originates from Meta’s introduction of its product, also named “Threads,” in July 2023. This occurred concurrently with the British company’s removal from Facebook. Notably, Meta’s legal team had previously made four offers to acquire the domain ‘threads.app’ from Threads Software Ltd starting in April 2023, all of which were rejected.
Dr. John Yardley, the Managing Director of Threads Software Ltd, emphasized the significance of the situation, stating, “Challenging a company with a market value of US$150 billion is not a decision we take lightly. We’ve invested a decade in establishing the Threads brand and platform. Our business is now under serious threat from one of the world’s largest technology companies. We understand that this is a classic ‘David and Goliath’ confrontation with Meta. However, their scale does not give them the right to appropriate the Threads brand name.”
The term “Threads” has been employed by various organizations, including a Slack-style platform, Threads, developed by a San Francisco startup as well as a football platform named Thread.
Meta’s “Threads” had experienced initial success, amassing over 100 million users within a mere five days of its launch. However, user engagement significantly declined soon after, with the average time spent using Threads iOS and Android apps plummeting from 19 minutes a day to just four minutes. Despite these challenges, Meta introduced new features and integrated Threads with Instagram in August.
This legal battle isn’t Meta’s first encounter with such issues. Following its rebrand from Facebook to Meta in 2021, the company faced copyright infringement allegations, with MetaX launching a trademark lawsuit against the tech giant last year. Also earlier this this year Twitter had threatened Meta with legal action alleging that the software giant had been poaching former employees to create a copy-cat application
The conflict between Threads Software Limited and Meta regarding the use of the “Threads” name underscores the growing significance of brand recognition and trademark protection within the tech industry. As these two companies engage in a high-stakes legal standoff, the outcome of this “David and Goliath” battle may establish a precedent for future similar disputes. Threads Software Limited is unwavering in its commitment to defend its brand and intellectual property rights, which could potentially reshape the landscape of digital communication and software naming conventions.