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Anthony Quintano for Re/code

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Twitpic, an image hosting site typically used to upload photos to Twitter, is shutting down.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett announced the news in a blog post Thursday, calling the decision to abandon the service, which he founded in 2008, “unexpected and hard.”

The company decided to throw in the towel following a trademark dispute with Twitter in which the social network threatened to cut off Twitpic’s access to its API, wrote Everett. Twitpic filed its trademark back in 2009 but it was just recently published, meaning other companies had 30 days to file an opposition. Twitter did just that, according to Everett, and threatened to cut off its API to Twitpic if the trademark was not abandoned.

“This came as a shock to us since Twitpic has been around since early 2008,” Everett wrote. “Unfortunately we do not have the resources to fend off a large company like Twitter to maintain our mark which we believe whole heartedly is rightfully ours.”

A Twitter spokesperson provided the following statement to Re/code:

“We’re sad to see Twitpic is shutting down. 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.”

Twitter has expanded heavily into photo upload tools and features in recent years, essentially chipping away at Twitpic’s utility. The service will shut down on Sept. 25, and Twitpic users can export their photos and videos before this happens, writes Everett.




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