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

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.