Patent deal with IBM puts to rest previous litigation
Twitter, the popular microblogging service that's now a publicly traded company, no longer has to defend itself against patent infringement claims brought on by IBM. Rather than battle one another in court, Twitter went and purchased 900 patents and signed a cross licensing agreement with IBM. Financial terms of the agreement, which was inked last month and announced today, were not disclosed.
Prior to filing for an initial public offering (IPO), Twitter owned all of nine patents and had 95 pending applications, a rather sparse amount compared to other tech titans. Twitter even acknowledged in a regulatory filing that its lack of patents could put a target on its back, and that undoubtedly played a role in Twitter's decision to hammer out a deal with IBM.
"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," said Ben Lee, Legal Director for Twitter.
IBM is one of the go-to companies for these types of deals, having led the annual list of U.S. patent recipients for 21 years in a row.