In 2007 and 2009 respectively, Twitter filed for a Trademark on the word Twitter as well as the word Tweet. A common practice to protect those words in association with the Social Networking service they provide. A few days ago, August 26, Twitter filed two new trademarks for both the same words Twitter, and Tweet. In looking at the USPTO classifications designated to these new Trademarks, they cover slightly different services than the previous marks, and are oriented more toward products than services. The new Trademark filings both fall under USPTO classification 009 which includes among other things: Computer & Software Products & Electrical & Scientific Products. Twitter confirmed that these new filings are indeed to cover different classes. Could Twitter be soon offering some sort of paid down-loadable product, or new Professional API? Possibly, considering that Trademarking in this category often indicates an actual phyiscal product or software that can operate independently of the web (see Apple’s iPhone Trademark in the same class.)
A Twitter phone? Well, probably not. Maybe Twitter is just looking to expand its protection against infringement? Twitter has in the past shown some pacifism toward/assimilation of would be infringers. However, in July of 2009, TechCrunch published an email between Twitter and an API developer indicating that Twitter was not comfortable with the third party using the word “Tweet” in association with their application. So Twitter may simply be looking to spread it’s wings of IP protection over the ever growing market for Twitter apis and apps. We’ll update you as the story develops.