A software company called Threads says Meta tried to buy its domain and have it removed from Facebook

A UK-based software company called Threads Software Ltd. is threatening legal action against Meta over the use of , The company, which says it has owned the “Threads” trademark since 2012, creates an “intelligent message hub” that uses AI to help businesses keep track of phone calls, emails and other messages.

Threads Software Ltd. claims that Meta Lawyers made four separate attempts starting in April 2023 to purchase the software company’s threads.app domain and ultimately shut down its Facebook account. “Each proposal was rejected,” the company said., “It was made clear on Meta’s Instagram that the domain is not for sale. In July 2023, Meta’s Instagram announced its ‘Threads’ social media platform and removed Threads Software Ltd from its Facebook platform.

The software company said it was giving Meta 30 days to “cease using the Threads name” and that it would “seek an injunction from the UK courts” if the social media company refuses to do so. In a statement, Threads Software CEO John Yardley said the decision to take on Meta was “not an easy decision” but that “the business now faces a serious threat from one of the largest technology companies in the world.”

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It’s unclear how much money Meta would have offered for threads.app, but Yardley’s statements provide a rare look at the kind of backroom negotiations that can take place to secure a desired domain or username.

It’s also worth noting that the software maker wasn’t the only company to use the Threads name when Meta launched its Twitter competitor. fashion retailer Controlled the @Threads handle on Instagram at the time of the service’s launch. The company jokingly responded to commenters at the time, and posted new threads on the service about people mixing clothing brands with a Meta-owned service. meta used @threadsapp on threads on Instagram and threadsapp.net at the time of the service’s launch.

When Threads first launched in July, a retailer called American Threads owned the Threads handle on Instagram.
Screenshot by Karissa Bell via Instagram

A month later, the retailer’s Instagram account Sent it to @americanthreads (and Threads on americanthreads.net) without explanation, while Meta took control of the @Threads handle. Representatives for the clothing brand did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the circumstances are strikingly similar to when Meta quietly dropped the @Meta handle on Instagram more than a year ago. That username was also controlled by a separate entity – an independent motorcycle publication called Meta – but the account was later subsumed by the social network without any explanation.

Representatives for Meta Magazine never commented directly on how their account changed, but they did write about their disappointment upon learning of Facebook’s name change. “With the flip of a switch, our identity suddenly vanished, and we watched as our name went down the drain along with something we had no control over,” the magazine’s co-founder wrote in a blog post. The magazine now uses the name ,

For now, it appears that Threads Software Ltd. is hoping for a different outcome. “Over the last 10 years, we have made a large investment in the Threads name and we did not want to potentially write off this investment just because Meta liked the name we had already created for a messaging service Was,” it wrote in a , “Simply changing the name of the service to avoid confusion with Meta’s product could hurt the service enough for us to lose that technological edge.”

If you have been offered money in exchange for your domain name or handle from Meta or another social media company, contact me at karissa.bell (at) engadget.com or Signal at +1.628.231.0063.

This article was originally published on Engadget

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