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Wed 9th Aug 2023 - Tipjar wins trademarking court battle with Twitter
Tipjar wins trademarking court battle with Twitter: Cashless tipping platform Tipjar has won its trademarking court battle with social media giant Twitter, which recently rebranded as X. In a ruling by the Munich Court in Germany, Tipjar secured exclusive rights to the name and ordered Twitter to cease using it for payment services brokerage in Germany. The battle erupted when Twitter introduced a “Tip Jar” functionality, allowing users to integrate select third-party payment services into their profiles. Inundated by messages mistakenly congratulating them on a collaboration with Twitter, Tipjar’s owners sought to defend their brand and chose Germany due to its streamlined legal processes and cost-effective approach. Twitter offered a substantial sum to acquire Tipjar’s trademark positions in various jurisdictions, which Tipjar declined, prompting Twitter to rebrand its payment platform to “Twitter Tips” to avoid hefty fines. Despite this, references to “Tip Jar” still lingered on the platform, leading to additional fines and substantial legal costs for Twitter. An appeal by Twitter led to the courts reaffirming Tipjar’s rights, and again ordering Twitter to cover the UK-based start-up’s costs. “Honestly, we are relieved to be finally sharing this story,” said Tipjar co-founder James Brown, who is also the chief executive of Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog. “We have been prohibited in discussing this publicly until now as part of our defence against Twitter was to achieve trademark status for our brand in their largest jurisdictions, and I am pleased to say we now own the Tipjar trademark in 70 countries around the world, ranging from Brazil and Australia to Japan and South Korea.” Founded in 2019, Tipjar has launched in more than 3,000 restaurants, bars and hotels in the UK, Europe and US, providing tip collection services to 60,000 workers. Backed by Monzo co-founder Gary Dolman and owned by a community of 2,600 crowdfunding investors, it last year closed a funding round on Crowdcube after raising almost £1.5m.

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