Feeds

Twitter poses patent non-aggression treaty to unblock industry

No first-use patent pledge to stem legal madness

High performance access to file storage

Twitter is trying a new tactic to slow or stop the increasing use of legal action over patents as a tactic in the technology industry.

It has proposed an Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA), which states that its patents will only be used in legal cases as a defensive tactic, unless the employee who created the patent agrees otherwise, even if the patent has since been passed on to a new owner. The first draft of the IPA has been uploaded to Github and Twitter is looking for comments from the community.

"We will implement the IPA later this year, and it will apply to all patents issued to our engineers, both past and present," said Adam Messinger, Twitter's VP of engineering in a blog post. "We are still in early stages, and have just started to reach out to other companies to discuss the IPA and whether it might make sense for them too."

Typically employers would have clauses in their staff's contracts that hand over control of the patents they develop on company time Messinger said. These can be used in legal action or sold on to third-parties. But with the IPA Twitter has said it wants to put control of patents back into the hands of people who dreamed them up and, hopefully, cut down on the amount of patent trolling going on.

The announcement was welcomed by internet campaigners at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is also exploring ways of reforming the current system of patents. It said that the proposal had merit, but said that an overhaul of the entire patent system would be a better solution, but it will take what it can get.

"Twitter’s IPA gives companies and inventors the means to take control of their own fate by ensuring that their patents will not end up in the hands of a troll," the EFF said in a statement. "We hope that other companies will follow Twitter’s example, and find creative ways to engage with the patent system." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.