Twitter rebrand acquires X account off user without paying

Joel Loynds
Elon Musk with his new tweet, saying "X will become the most valuable brand on Earth. Make my words."

Elon Musk’s Twitter is getting a rebrand, with the company now called X. However, the rebrand has had a rocky start worldwide.

There’s good news for Elon Musk this morning, as Twitter has acquired the @X account off of another user on the site. The owner signed up for the Twitter account in 2007, a year after the platform launched.

Now renamed to @x12345678998765, the user simply tweeted: “Alls well that ends well.”

In a new report from UK newspaper and outlet, The Telegraph, the owner of the @x account wasn’t bought out for the username. Instead, it appears that Musk and X simply took it off him.

The owner, Gene X Hwang, was offered merchandise and a meeting, but no compensation for repurposing his 16 year old username for a rebrand. A prior single username, @n, was given $50,000 for it.

Speaking with the paper, he said: “They just took it essentially – kinda what I thought might happen.

“They did send an email saying it is the property of ‘x’ essentially.”

Twitter runs into trademark issues with X rebrand

However, the swap over to the new brand has been met with potential roadblocks at every avenue. In changing the rest of the company’s handles, the former Twitter brand hasn’t been erased off of its movie-centric account, TwitterMovies. Speculation online has pointed out that it would be an unfortunate rebranding.

It also can’t rename the Japanese account to X Japan, as that has been trademarked by a rock band in the country.

Meta's X logo and X's X logo

Further investigations by those online have uncovered that Meta and Microsoft both own trademarks of the X branding. Meta’s might be a little more of a worry for Musk, as it directly conflicts with Zuckerberg’s company trademark for X. Currently, the trademark owned by Meta for X covers social media platforms.

Trademark lawyer weighs in on Musk’s X rebrand

Though, Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer posted to Twitter/X about the brand change: “The chance that [Elon Musk] will be able to successfully register a trademark for “X” for all the services he intends to provide, in every country he wants to provide them in, is very low.

“… there is about a 100% probability that Twitter/X will be sued by both opportunistic and legitimate plaintiffs over the new name.”

He also added that he estimates that Twitter/X could wind up spending “tens of millions (if not $100+ million) in legal fees and settlement costs” as the rebrand continues: “If Elon had stuck with the Twitter brand, his company would likely not spend a dime to justify its Twitter trademark on just about anything he wanted to do with the brand.”

Through all of this, Musk seems confident in the rebranding. In a response to another user, Musk said: “X will become the most valuable brand on Earth. Make my words.”