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Twitter acquires 900 IBM patents to avoid legal spat

Microblogging website settles with IBM
Fri Jan 31 2014, 15:13
New Twitter logo

BIG BLUE IBM announced on Friday that Twitter has acquired 900 of its patents, avoiding a potential lawsuit between the two firms. 

IBM said today that it has entered a patents cross-licensing deal with the microblogging website, with Twitter having acquired 900 of its 41,000 patents.

While this doesn't sound exciting, it comes just two months after IBM threatened a lawsuit accusing Twitter of infringing three of its patents, so this deal puts an end to that discussion.

In November IBM asserted that Twitter allegedly infringed US patents 6,957,224, "efficient retrieval of uniform resource locators"; 7,072,849, "method for presenting advertising in an interactive service"; and 7,099,862, "programmatic discovery of common contacts".

The companies did not disclose financial details, but the deal also sees Twitter extending its patent portfolio like rivals such as Facebook and likely also increasing its access to other IBM software technologies.

Twitter legal director Ben Lee said, "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."

IBM GM of intellectual property Ken King added, "We are pleased to reach this agreement with Twitter because it illustrates the value of patented IBM inventions and demonstrates our commitment to licensing access to our broad patent portfolio.

"We look forward to a productive relationship with Twitter in the future." µ


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