Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has found itself embroiled in a legal battle over the use of the name “Threads.” Threads Software Limited, the British company behind a cloud-based intelligent message hub called Threads, has given Meta a 30-day ultimatum to vacate the Threads name. In response, Threads Software Limited has asserted that it will seek an injunction from the courts if Meta continues to use the name Threads beyond this deadline.
Threads, developed and trademarked by JPY Ltd in 2012, is a powerful tool that captures, transcribes, and organizes digital messages, emails, and phone calls for businesses. It has been actively promoted since 2014 and has achieved significant success, with sales growing at a remarkable rate of 200% per year.
The dispute arises from Meta’s announcement of its Threads platform in July 2023, despite being aware of Threads Software Limited’s existing product. Meta had made multiple unsuccessful attempts to purchase the domain “threads.app” from the British company. This clash has pitted the smaller, ten-year-old Threads Software Limited against the tech giant Meta, creating a classic “David and Goliath” scenario.
Dr. John Yardley, Managing Director of Threads Software Ltd, expressed concern about the threat posed by Meta, stating, “Our business now faces a serious threat from one of the largest technology companies in the world. We recognize that this is a classic ‘David and Goliath’ battle with Meta. And whilst they may think they can use whatever name they want, that does not give them the right to use the Threads brand name.”
Notably, the term “Threads” is used by various organizations, including a football platform, a Slack-style communication platform, and even a 1984 British film. This diversity of uses further complicates the legal dispute.
Meta’s Threads platform initially gained substantial attention, but user engagement later declined, raising concerns about its sustainability. Despite this, Meta has continued to enhance the platform with new features and integration with Instagram.
This legal challenge is not the first Meta has faced since its rebrand from Facebook in 2021, as it previously dealt with copyright infringement claims, highlighting the complexities of intellectual property in the tech industry. The outcome of this dispute will undoubtedly have implications for the branding and naming practices of tech companies and the protection of intellectual property rights.