Applications that allow direct access to micro-blogging site Twitter may be hit by a copyright claim.

Twitter founder Biz Stone claimed that the company had applied to trademark the term ‘Tweet' from a brand perspective, its name for a message posted by a user.

He said that there was no intention of ‘going after' applications and services that use the word in their name when associated with Twitter, and actively encouraged their existence and development.

He said: “However, if we come across a confusing or damaging project, the recourse to act responsibly to protect both users and our brand is important.”

Many applications are now regularly used such as Tweetdeck, TwitterBerry, Tweetboard and BackTweets, and Stone said that ‘as the ecosystem grows there is also the possibility that confusing and potentially damaging projects could emerge'.

He claimed that the company is wary of applications being named ‘Twitter' and has generally responded with a request for more ‘original branding' as this ‘avoids potential confusion down the line'.

Stone said: “As we build our platform team, we will be adding more documentation, guidelines and best practices to help developers get the most out of our growing set of open APIs. We'll work together to ensure success for Twitter, developers and everyone who uses these services while avoiding confusion and maintaining quality.”