(RightWing.org) – Former president Donald Trump launched his own social media platform on Sunday, to massive enthusiasm from his supporters – and equally massive outrage from Liberals. Some left-wing journalists immediately started speculating Twitter could sue the new app for using similar features – but legal experts say that’s probably not an option.
Liberals were pinning their hopes of legal action on the fact Trump’s platform, Truth Social, looks very similar to Twitter. However, according to Canadian intellectual property expert Carys Craig, that only matters if people are likely to confuse the two platforms.
Truth Social’s creators, Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), have never tried to pass off their app as related to Twitter, and it doesn’t use similar branding or language. That, says Craig, means the similar design is simply fair competition.
Trump's Truth Social might have run into legal trouble on day one https://t.co/ysL0rbfX4K
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) February 21, 2022
Craig also says it’s unlikely TMTG has copied any of Twitter’s source code; the platforms might look similar, but they’re running on different code. Craig says all the elements they share – “scrolling and commenting functions, likes, shares, reaction buttons” – are “common and unoriginal” elements that copyright laws don’t protect, so companies can freely copy them.
In one last blow, Columbia University law professor Jane Ginsberg pointed out the public would have to believe Twitter had produced, or at least approved of, Trump’s app for Twitter to successfully sue for trademark infringement. Because the former president was publicly banned from Twitter last January, she said, “I don’t know that a confusion claim could be proved.”
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