Twitter Strikes Patent Deal With IBM
Twitter announced on Friday it purchased more than 900 patents from IBM, as well as entered a cross-licensing agreement that could protect the microblogging service from future intellectual property litigation.
The move comes just months after IBM slapped Twitter with claims of patent infringement last fall, when it said Twitter specifically violated at least three of IBM’s existing patents.
“This acquisition of patents from IBM and licensing agreement provides us with greater intellectual property protection and gives us freedom of action to innovate on behalf of all those who use our service,” Ben Lee, Legal Director for Twitter, said in a statement.
The move is particularly notable for Twitter, a company which owns only a handful of United States patents. This is in stark contrast to Facebook, Google or other tech company peers who have spent millions acquiring massive patent troves in order to defend against intellectual property lawsuits.
Twitter did not detail the specific types of patents purchased, though I’d suspect that U.S. patents 6,957,224, 7,072,849, and 7,099,862 were involved, as those were the ones explicitly named by Twitter when it first disclosed that IBM had warned the company of patent infringement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.