Photograph by Leon Neal — AFP/Getty Images
By Erin Griffith
December 4, 2015

Twitter has filed to trademark the term “subtweet.” It describes the act of tweeting about a person without including their Twitter handle. In essence, it’s tweeting about someone behind their back.

It’s not clear what business purpose the company might have for this term, but it’s also not the first time Twitter has trademarked an activity created and named by its users. The company earlier this year filed to trademark “Tweetstorm,” which refers to a series of numbered tweets on one topic. It also sought to trademark “retweet” and “cotweet,” as well as “Viners” and “revine” for its video subsidiary, Vine.

Many of Twitter’s features and products, including retweets and hashtags, have evolved from the behaviors of its users.

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