Killing off an iconic brand: is it just a publicity stunt?

New developments in the field of employee creations
July 21, 2023
Infringement of the “Côtes du Rhône” and “Côtes du Rhône Villages” PDOs
September 22, 2023

The American social network Twitter changed its name and logo on July 24th to adopt… the letter X :

On the facade of the headquarters (San Francisco) on the evening of the 24th :

Its owner, Twitter Inc., has disappeared in favor of… X Corp , a subsidiary of the investment fund X Holding Corp, the whole process having started in 2022 with “Project X” (a loan contracted by businessman Elon MUSK to acquire Twitter). The circle is complete, and the surprise is in fact logical.

Thus disappears an iconic global brand, Twitter, having generated a whole terminology, such as the terms tweeting or tweet, which have passed into everyday language (hardly replicable with “X”) and its logo with immediate worldwide recognition.

X, an unregisterable trademark:

Adopted in 24 hours during a contest organized by Elon Musk among his fans, this X seems to correspond to the Unicode sign (U+1D54F): 𝕏, or to the X of the Special Alphabets 4 (Monotype) font, slightly modified by podcaster Sawyer MERRITT, who claims no copyright.


Indeed, he explains that he used the X of the font, thickening its stroke, adding a glow and small lines to give the logo an “imperfect” look. Elon Musk himself describes the logo as “minimalist” and “Art Deco”…


In fact, forget about legal checks, requesting a license from the publisher of the Special Alphabets 4 font, or the fact that a single-character trademark can be refused by certain Trademark Offices: it’s an interim logo, as Elon Musk indicates on his profile… X.

X, the controlled leap into the unknown?

The letter X is omnipresent in Elon Musk’s (coherent or obsessive) universe, with his companies SpaceX, X AI, Tesla model X,… In the end, Elon Musk knows himself to be the best advertisement for his projects.

X, as a universal mathematical symbol for the unknown of an algebraic problem, resembles the future X platform: “everything app” all to be built and financed – which also requires massive investment and new developers, despite the recent 50% drop in advertising revenues and the past layoff of 50% of Twitter’s workforce…

From the moment of its takeover, Twitter was destined to be the springboard for an “everything app(lication)”: “X, the app that does everything“, declared Elon Musk in October 2022. Online payment service, messaging, data exchange, content creation… like the Chinese mobile app Wechat. According to Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered on audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities.” “There is absolutely no limit to this transformation.“.

The change of name and logo is therefore a rebranding and marketing move to launch this project (and erase the disastrous Twitter-Elon Musk relationship?). For Jean Cattan, General Secretary of the Conseil National du Numérique, Elon Musk wants to “dissociate himself from a kind of economic bankruptcy with which this company is associated today […] He’s sinking the name to make the company evolve, […] It’s an opportunity to take a step back from all the obligations that rest on social networks to aggregate other services and dilute the notion of social network“. For Vanitha Swaminathan, professor of marketing at the University of Pittsburgh, a name change can “signal a strategic evolution, modernize a brand or help overcome an image crisis. In Twitter’s case, it’s all three.” However, “it needs to be followed up with specific actions that show something is actually happening.”


– Sylvie BOYER, Paralegal at Mark & Law



Nicolas Lellouche, Le logo de X (le nouveau Twitter) est-il vraiment illégal ?,, 25 July 2023, available here.

Agence France-Presse, Twitter devient X et change de logo,, 25 July 2023, available here.