Rivalry between Technology giants is something that is normal in this era of internet but expressing it publicly is not normal. Elon Musk, Twitter CEO and Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg are in open competition these days as Meta is introducing new threads application just like Twitter threads.
Threads, which some consider to be a competitor to Twitter. Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter, has threatened to sue Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg over allegations of using Twitter’s trade secrets and highly confidential information.
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This threat was conveyed in a letter sent by Twitter’s lawyer, Alex Spiro, to Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The letter explained that Meta’s new app Threads is a copy of Twityer feature Threads and Twitter is officially warning them of copyright.
The lawyer’s letter also accused Meta of hiring former Twitter employees who had access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other confidential information.
The letter demanded that Meta cease using any such information and warned of Twitter’s intention to enforce its intellectual property rights.
A media report has claimed that the contents of the letter are true and Twitter claimed against copying its features but Twitter lawyer Spiro did not comment on the matter when approached by media.
Meta, in response, rejected all the allegations made in the letter. A spokesperson for Meta stated that no former Twitter employees were part of the Threads engineering team, however it is not confirmed that employees are not working in any other department.
A former senior Twitter employee also stated that they were not aware of any former staffers working on Threads or joining Meta.
Elon Musk, in reaction to the news, commented on Twitter that competition is acceptable, but cheating is not. Mark is trying to cheat the whole feature of Twitter which is not acceptable in any case.
Since Musk’s takeover of Twitter last October, the platform has faced competition from other platforms such as Mastodon and Bluesky. However, Threads’ user interface resembles Twitter’s, although it lacks features like keyword searches and direct messages.
Experts in intellectual property law suggest that Twitter would need more substantial evidence than what is presented in the letter to press a trade secret theft claim against Meta. Only sharing a little bit information and accusing it of cheating or copyrighting is not acceptable.
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Hiring former employees alone is also unlikely to support such a claim. Companies alleging trade secret theft usually need to demonstrate that they took reasonable measures to protect their secrets, and cases often revolve around breached secure systems.
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This dispute adds to the challenges faced by Twitter, which has made controversial decisions that have led to dissatisfaction among users and advertisers. One of the recent moves by Musk was to limit the number of tweets users can read per day on the platform.