Twitter has acquired more than 900 patents from IBM in a deal that effectively ends a patent dispute between the two companies. The agreement was reached back in December but is just now coming to light courtesy of a joint press release from the two parties. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
If you recall, IBM filed a lawsuit against the microblogging platform last fall claiming Twitter was in violation of at least three of their patents. One involved advertising, another dealt with resource locators while the third was related to discovery of contacts.
Instead of heading to court, Big Blue was open to resolving the issue without legal assistance which is apparently how it ultimately played out.
Furthermore, Twitter also entered into a cross-licensing agreement with IBM. As noted by Twitter legal director Ben Lee, the acquisition of patents from IBM and licensing agreement provides the microblogging platform with greater intellectual property protection and gives them freedom of action to innovate.
It’s good news for Twitter as, unlike several other social media companies, they don’t currently own a large portfolio of IP. For IBM, it’s just another patent deal in the books.
IBM sold 750 patents to Facebook in March 2012 just before the social networking giant launched their IPO. Before that, IBM parted ways with 1,000 patents in a deal with Google. Even with the latest Twitter deal, IBM still holds more patents than any other company in the world.