Some marketing types have said that having your brand name verbed by others is heavenly, well beyond flattery, kind of like a marketer’s Shangri-la. As you may recall, we have explored the legal implications of the verbing of brands here, here, here, and here.

What about having your brand name used as a reference point in another’s advertising? If you’re the brand owner, do you care who is doing it? Do you care what they are selling?

The latest example found in non-comparative billboard advertising:


A couple more questions to ponder and/or get to the bottom of:

  1. Does Summit need Twitter’s permission?
  2. Should Summit need Twitter’s permission?
  3. What are the pros and cons — from a marketer’s perspective — of using another’s brand to help sell your own product?
  4. Is this a lazy tactic, an inherently creative one, or something in between?
  5. I won’t ask whether consumers are likely to be confused, whether Twitter is a famous trademark, or, if so, whether uses like this are likely to dilute the distinctive quality of or tarnish the Twitter trademark.

Don’t just talk amongst yourselves, please, share your thoughts here.

For prior discussion of some of Twitter’s trademark issues, see here and here.