Twitter finally has a patent on Twitter – and although many are saying it will be easy to invalidate in court AND (besides that) Twitter is supposedly not interested in going on the ‘patent offense,’ some platform developers must be shaking in their old school sneakers.
And we’re guessing one very vocal anti-Twitter, Twitter is feeling a little sick: App.net.
So why pursue a patent NOW for the nearly seven-year-old platform? According to The Verge, a Twitter statement said: “Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of our inventions. We also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future, which is why we introduced the Innovator’s Patent Agreement to keep control of those patents in the hands of engineers and designers.”
The Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA), you’ll remember, was a document created to help ensure that patents are not used to “impede the innovation of others,” but for defensive purposes only.
The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission.
And although The Verge shares that it’s “doubtful the company will pursue any litigation” it also notes that “competing companies like Facebook will have to evaluate their products carefully against Twitter’s very broad claims on virtually any service that allows messages to be sent to a large group of unaddressed recipients who follow the sender.” And THAT seems to be something ADN will have to seriously consider as well, particularly as it’s SO similar to Twitter in so many ways:
ADN’s founder and CEO, Dalton Caldwell has nothing to say on the topic yet – we’ll update do when/if he does.
Here’s the patent, if you like to read such things.
Do you think ADN is doomed? I would imagine they’d be first on Twitter’s hit list, particularly if they were looking for a test case.
(Grim reaper image from Shutterstock)