Twitter Secures Patent on Pull Down to Refresh Interaction, Promises Not to Use It

By Cameron Scott 

ipa, innovator's patent agreement, patents, patent trolls, twitter, social networks, social mediaTwitter has earned a patent for the interactive feature by which users pull down to refresh content, which is widely used in mobile apps. The company said it would manage the patent using an Innovator’s Patent Agreement, essentially only exercising the patent if it is first sued by a company that allegedly infringes on it.

To use the patent as the basis for suing another company first, Twitter would have to get permission from the former employee who created the patented technology, Loren Brichter, who’s latest project is the popular game WordPress.

If the model works as Twitter says it will, it may influence the tech industry as a whole.

The new type of patent, released in draft form last spring, seeks to reduce the use of patent claims to stifle challenges from competitors. Groups called patent assertion entities also gain title to the patents for products created by others and use them to try to wring money from well established companies.

Twitter encouraged other companies to exert patent rights in a similar way. Today, Lift, StackExchange, TellApart and Jack Dorsey’s latest venture, Jelly, said they would adopt the model.