Twitter vs. Tuio: Elon Musk starts a legal battle against a Spanish startup

Twitter vs. Tuio: Elon Musk starts a legal battle against a Spanish startup


The sole owner of the social network maintains that the commercial registration of the online home insurance brand can be confused with the name ‘tweet’

Elon Musk, in a file photo
Elon Musk, in a file photosusan walshPA

the tycoon Elon Musksole owner of Twitterhas launched a legal battle against the small Spanish start-up dedicated to online home insurance ‘Tuio’, considering that the commercial registration of the brand with this name creates confusion with the name ‘tuit’, the Spanish version of the word English ‘tweet’.

This conflict has been raised in the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which is based in Alicante and where on July 6, 2022, those responsible for ‘Tuio’ formalized a request to reserve the use of that term in the fields of insurance and technological platforms within the market that make up the 27 countries of the Union.

On October 28, Twitter Incorporation filed an appeal, considering that the possible trademark ‘Tuio’ is very similar to the already protected ‘tweet’ and could lead to confusion among customers. However, from the digital neoinsurer based in Madrid they maintain before the Euroagencia that both brands are different and that it is “nonsense” that they can be confused, in addition to operating in different economic segments.

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Founded by José María Lucas del Portillo and Francisco de Ass Pardo Martín from Madrid, and Juan Francisco García Fernández from Asturias, all 39-year-old engineers, Tuio began selling insurance in October 2021 and currently has some 10,000 clients throughout the country. Spain.

In statements to EFE, one of these founders and co-executive director of Tuio, Juan Francisco García Fernndez, has explained that they are negotiating with Twitter’s lawyers to try to avoid ending up in court and that, for this, they have offered to limit the field of insurance protection of a brand in the field of technological platforms. There has already been a first “approach” and the two parties have asked the EUIPO for an extension of the deadlines to analyze the allegations and reach a possible agreement, which should take place before November 2024.

The founders of Tuio find it “curious” that the American technology giant has noticed them when their brand only shares the root of the word with the word ‘tweet’, and they trust that they can reach a “friendly” outcome.

Tuio ironizes by launching a campaign in Tui

On the occasion of the fight with Twitter, the digital insurer has just launched an original and “curious” campaign to benefit the little more than 17,000 inhabitants of Tui (Pontevedra), which consists of give them home insurance for 6 months to all those registered in the Galician city (“without small print”).

The argument is that “the only thing that tuit and Tuio have in common is ‘tui'” so, ironically, they believe that the town on the banks of the Mio “could be the next to be threatened” by Elon Musk’s company: “If he’s going for Tuio, who’s to tell you Musk won’t go for Tui?”

The EUIPO, which must resolve this intellectual property dispute if the parties do not reach an agreement beforehand, is one of the largest decentralized Offices in the EU which, with a thousand Euro-officials, is dedicated to the registration of trademarks, drawings and Community model, in addition to housing the European Observatory against piracy.

Every year it protects more than 150,000 trademarks to operate in the 27 EU countries and the activity is carried out in any of the 23 official languages, including the five working ones, which are German, Spanish, French, English and Italian.

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