Update: Twitpic announced on September 18 that it has been acquired and will continue operating. It did not reveal the buyer’s name or terms of the deal.
Bowing to pressure from Twitter, media-hosting service Twitpic said Thursday it will shut down September 25. Twitpic users have until then to export their photos and videos.
Twitpic founder Noah Everett said Twitter threatened to cut off access to its API if Twitpic did not abandon its trademark application, which was filed in 2009. During the published for opposition phase–when the United States Patent and Trademark Office publishes the patent application and gives outside parties 30 days to file an opposition–Twitter’s legal department reached out to Twitpic and “implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark,” said Everett.
“We’re sad to see Twitpic is shutting down,” a Twitter representative told Fast Company. “We encourage developers to build on top of the Twitter service, as Twitpic has done for years, and we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name. Of course, we also have to protect our brand, and that includes trademarks tied to the brand.”