WTO Intellectual Property
Twitter has announced that it will structure its patents so they could not be used for offensive litigation purposes without the permission of its developers.
In a blog post on the company website on 17th April 2012, the microblogging platform announced that it has struck a new agreement with its employees that will give legal rights to its engineers and designers who develop any patent while working for Twitter. They are of the opinion that this will give inventors more control over their creations and ensure its patents are not used to "impede the innovation of others".
Basically, the engineers and designers have to sign an agreement with their company that irrevocably gives that company any patents filed related to the employee's work.
The company then has control over the patents and can use them however they want, which may include selling them to others.
With this IPA (Innovator's Patent Agreement), employees can be assured that their patents will only be used as a shield rather than as a weapon.
Twitter, which launched its microblogging service in 2006, currently does not have any patents, but it is known that it has applied for many.
However, despite all the congratulations going on, there is a particular group of people who are skeptical about how the policy will turn out finally.
Some capitalists and bloggers have gone to the extent of calling it 'Twitter Patent Hack' because according to them, what twitter has done is very shrewd and is likely to have a material change in the way patents are used to foster and/or hinder innovation, as the case may be.
Moreover, some have even said that one can't use patents defensively against most trolls, because they don't make any product. By definition, they can't possibly violate one's patents.
However, it remains to be seen that what effect it will have on others.
Twitter is an online social networking service and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as "tweets". It was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July.
Innovators Patent Agreement (IPA) is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from a company to its employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. The company will not use the patents in offensive litigation without the permission of the inventors.