Meta responds to Elon Musk’s lawsuit threat as Threads becomes most rapidly downloaded app

‘Competition is fine, cheating is not,’ Musk tweets

Vishwam Sankaran
Friday 07 July 2023 04:36 BST

Related video: Twitter competitor Threads attracting millions of users and mixed reviews

Meta has responded to Elon Musk’s lawsuit threat against its new platform Threads saying that none of the staff working on the app are former Twitter employees.

On Thursday, Twitter threatened Meta with legal action over its new social media app Threads, claiming it is a “copycat” platform it built by hiring former Twitter staff.

Since its roll out, Meta’s text-based platform built in partnership with Instagram, has racked up tens of millions signups, seemingly becoming the most rapidly downloaded app ever and the most popular Twitter alternative yet.

Just hours after its launch, however, Twitter attorney Alex Spiro sent a letter to Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg arguing that his company was guilty of “systematic, willful, and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”, according to 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,” Mr Spiro said in the letter.

“Twitter reserves all rights, including, but not limited to, the right to seek both civil remedies and injunctive relief without further notice to prevent any further retention, disclosure, or use of its intellectual property by Meta,” the attorney added.

Mr Spiro alleged that Meta hired dozens of former Twitter staff who “had and continue to have access to Twitter’s trade secrets and other highly confidential information”.

He said “Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app” was built with the “specific intent” that they use “Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property “in order to accelerate the development of Meta’s competing app”.

The attorney argued that this was “in violation of both state and federal law as well as those employees’ ongoing obligations to Twitter”.

Andy Stone, Meta’s communications director, responded to the claims on Friday saying that the Threads engineering team does not have any former Twitter employee.

“To be clear: No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee – that’s just not a thing,” Mr Stone wrote on Threads.

Mr Musk reponded to Twitter threatening Meta with a lawsuit saying: “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

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