IBM has accused microblogging platform Twitter of infringing on three patents they own according to a recent update to Twitter’s S1 document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IBM is reportedly open to resolving the violations without getting the legal system involved but it is unclear if Twitter is willing to go down that road.
The patents in question are U.S. Patent No. 6,957,224 which deals with efficient retrieval of uniform resource locators, U.S. Patent No. 7,072,849 relating to a method for presenting advertising in an interactive service and U.S. Patent No. 7,099,862 pertaining to programmatic discovery of common contacts.
In the SEC filing, Twitter said that based on their preliminary review of the patents, they believe they have meritorious defenses to IBM’s allegations although there can be no assurance that they will be successful in defending against them or reaching a business resolution that works for both parties.
Of course, IBM isn’t the only company coming after Twitter over patent infringement. The social blogging site said they are currently involved in a number of intellectual property lawsuits and as they face increasing competition and gain an even higher profile, they expect the number of lawsuits and other intellectual property claims against them to increase.
It’s all a case of bad timing for Twitter as they inch closer to their IPO and as such, they must tread carefully when handling such allegations. Fighting off big companies like IBM in court would be costly and time-consuming but at the same time, bowing down could hurt their financial results.