Twitter has drafted up what they’re calling the Innovator’s Patent Agreement (IPA). With it, the company is promising to only use their patents as the actual inventor intended — read: defensively, not offensively.

More specifically:

The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.

Excellent news. Twitter is promising to implement the IPA later this year and says that it will apply to all their patents past and present. Yes, this means things like Loren Brichter’s pull-to-refresh (which he’s excited about).

Hopefully other startups large and small will follow Twitter’s lead here. It would be really excellent if larger companies (*cough* Yahoo *cough*) did as well, but it’s hard to see that happening given the current state of things. This is a movement that will have to start from the ground up.

Big time kudos to Twitter for this.

  1. ethel-the-aardvark reblogged this from parislemon
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  5. robanhk reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    I have no idea if this is as good as it sounds, but I do like the sound of it.
  6. theliberaltony reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    Hey I wish you would call out the company that does this the most… Apple… But since you draw from that tit daily i’m not...
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  10. rodrigolj reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    As leis de patente cada vez mais criam estagnação da inovação, não apenas nos Estados Unidos. O que o
  11. iamstephen reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    Forward thinking!
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