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Twitter Set to Battle Meta Over Alleged Trade Secret Breach in New Threads Platform

Tensions flare as Twitter threatens legal action against Meta Platforms, accusing the social media giant of breaching its confidential trade secrets to develop the Threads platform.

Logos of Threads and Twitter
Logos of Threads and Twitter

Twitter to Sue Meta: An Overview

Twitter has raised legal concerns against Meta Platforms, regarding its latest offering - the Threads platform. A letter stating the same was addressed to Meta's CEO Mark Zuckerberg from Twitter's legal representative, Alex Spiro.

Threads: Meta's Latest Move in the Social Media Landscape

Launched recently by Meta, Threads has already drawn over 30 million sign-ups, seeking to rival Twitter. The new platform attempts to leverage Instagram's vast user base, owned by Meta, in a bid to take on Twitter, now managed by Elon Musk.

Accusations and Responses: A Closer Look

The letter penned by Spiro accuses Meta of recruiting ex-Twitter employees, claiming they potentially hold Twitter's trade secrets and highly confidential data. The accusation was initially reported by the news site Semafor. "Twitter intends to strictly enforce its intellectual property rights, and demands that Meta take immediate steps to stop using any Twitter trade secrets or other highly confidential information," wrote Spiro.

However, Meta spokesperson Andy Stone dismissed the accusation. He insisted that no former Twitter employees are part of the Threads development team.

The Changing Tides: Twitter's New Rivals and Challenges

Amid these accusations, Twitter, since Musk's takeover last year, has been facing stiff competition from other platforms like Mastodon and Bluesky. Nevertheless, Threads appears to resemble the microblogging platform, despite not supporting keyword searches or direct messaging functionalities.

Twitter would require more detailed evidence to establish a trade secret theft claim against Meta, as per intellectual property law experts including Mark Lemley, a law professor at Stanford. Hiring ex-Twitter employees and creating a platform with similar features might not be enough to substantiate such claims, Lemley added.

Furthermore, Jeanne Fromer, a professor at New York University, suggested that any company accusing another of trade secret theft must demonstrate they've made reasonable efforts to secure their corporate secrets.

Recent Turmoil: Twitter's Struggle Amid Controversial Decisions

This recent controversy comes as the latest challenge for Twitter, following a series of contentious decisions that have upset both users and advertisers, including Musk's recent move to limit the number of tweets users can view each day.