Elon Musk Supports Twitter in Legal Battle Against Meta’s Threads App

Elon Musk Supports Twitter in Legal Battle Against Meta's Threads App

In a brewing legal clash between social media giants, Twitter has threatened to sue Meta (formerly Facebook) following the launch of its Threads app, which quickly gained 10 million users. The micro-blogging platform accuses Meta of “systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation” of Twitter’s trade secrets, intellectual property (IP), and data scraping. Elon Musk’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, communicated these concerns to Mark Zuckerberg, prompting Musk to weigh in on the matter, stating, “Competition is fine, cheating is not,” implying a potentially significant legal battle lies ahead over the Threads app.

According to reports, Twitter alleges that Meta violated its intellectual property rights, as shared by news outlet Semafor. Twitter Daily News tweeted a letter from Alex Spiro, in which he asserted that Twitter has serious concerns about Meta engaging in the systematic and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.

In the letter, Spiro emphasized that Twitter intends to rigorously enforce its intellectual property rights and demanded that Meta immediately cease using any of Twitter’s trade secrets or highly confidential information.

Meta recently unveiled Threads, a text-based conversation app intended as a rival to Twitter. The Guardian reported that Threads amassed 30 million sign-ups within 24 hours of its launch, making it the fastest-downloaded app in history. By linking Threads accounts to Instagram profiles, Meta facilitated a seamless sign-up process between apps, effectively leveraging its existing user base.

Mark Zuckerberg described Threads as Meta’s attempt to create a “public conversations app with 1bn+ people,” an opportunity that he believes Twitter has not fully capitalized on. He expressed satisfaction with the app’s initial success, stating, “This is as good of a start as we could have hoped for!” in a Twitter thread.

Meanwhile, Twitter alleged in its cease-and-desist letter that Meta had recruited several former Twitter employees over the past year, some of whom had access to Twitter’s trade secrets and highly confidential information. It further claimed that many of these employees had “improperly” retained Twitter documents or electronic devices.

The letter stated, “With that knowledge, Meta deliberately assigned these employees to develop, in a matter of months, Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app with the specific intent that they use Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app, in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter.”

Twitter also highlighted that Meta was “prohibited” from scraping data from any Twitter service.

As the legal battle intensifies between Twitter and Meta, the outcome will have significant implications for the future of app development and intellectual property protection in the social media landscape. Both companies will undoubtedly seek to defend their interests and protect their innovations as they vie for dominance in the highly competitive digital sphere.

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