Feeds

Twitter avoids IP face-off with Big Blue, will buy 900 IBM patents

Joins mega-patent-having tech titan club, will cross-license too

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Six-year-old Twitter has agreed to buy 900 patents from IP superstore IBM after Big Blue threatened to sue the microblogging firm last year.

IBM wrote to Twitter just before the company was due to go public last year, telling the firm that it was infringing on at least three of Big Blue's patents and inviting the company to sort it out or face the consequences.

Twitter copped to the letter in a filing with the SEC in November, but said it reckoned it had "meritorious defences to IBM's allegations".

It appears to have turned out to be better for the firm to just stock up its patent war chest instead so it can stave off litigation from IBM and anyone else that fancies a pop, as Big Blue announced that Twitter had bought over 900 patents from the firm and entered into a cross-licensing agreement.

"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 Twitter's legal director Ben Lee in the canned statement.

Twitter has a serious lack of intellectual property compared to other tech firms and said in its filings ahead of its market debut that its dearth of patents could make it a target for litigation.

IBM consistently tops the charts of companies with mega-arsenals of patents and has been a common shopping destination for other tech firms seeking to bolster their own intellectual property counts.

Back in 2012, Facebook bought around 750 patents off Big Blue to help it settle a lawsuit with Yahoo! and Google has bought thousands of patents from the firm in the last few years, as it combats legal attacks on its Android OS. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.