Twitter Buys 900 IBM Patents
Twitter has agreed to buy 900 patents from International Business Machines Corp. to gain access to new technology and build a defense against infringement suits.
The deal came about a month after Twitter revealed that IBM had accused it of violating three of its patents related to advertising, “resource locators,” and discovery of contacts. Twitter was willing at that time to handle the situation outside of court, and it appears it went that way.
A cross-licensing agreement will help safeguard Twitter against similar claims in the future. The most high profile exhibit of buying patents to curb future lawsuits would be Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility.
IBM is one of the industry’s largest research spenders and stockpilers of intellectual property, a consistent leader in US patent filings and the owner of some 41,000 patents. Twitter is following on the heels of Facebook, which itself faced similar claims before its own 2012 IPO.
Twitter is seeking to get more revenue from retailers and is trying to make it easier for users to shop via its 140-character messages.