When I first heard about Twitter’s newly proposed patent plan, a few questions came to mind: Who would give up the chance to make significant profit from the creative minds of its employees? What is Twitter thinking? Do they want to just give up the kind of money that puts startups on the map? What about keeping the company focused on innovation and development and limiting the risk of costly, extensive, patent litigation?
Last Friday, it was reported that Twitter has introduced an unconventional way of considering intellectual property for any tech firm. As part of its Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA), Twitter has decided that plaintiffs need the permission of the creators (in this case Twitter’s own engineers and employees) to use any of its patents for offensive litigation. This will of course allow Twitter to defend itself and its patents should action be brought against it, but it will also discourage the company from actively seeking out patent infringement as a way to make money and hamper competition. This is a bold statement by Twitter. Will it promote innovation within the industry, which I believe is Twitter’s intent? Read The Wall Street Journal’s Twitter Gambles on a Patent Plan and let us know what you think in the comments.