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Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Twitter To Implement New Patent Strategy

Twitter says that patents should not be used to impede the innovation of others and announced the implementation of the "Innovator's Patent Agreement" or IPA.

The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. Twitter described it as a commitment from Twitter to its employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. Twitter said that it would not use the patents from employees? inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. In addition, this control flows with the patents, so if Twitter sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.

Typically, engineers and designers sign an agreement with their company that 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 who can also use them however they want. "With the IPA, employees can be assured that their patents will be used only as a shield rather than as a weapon," Adam Messinger, VP of Engineering at Twitter wrote in a blog.

Twitter will implement the IPA later this year, and it will apply to all patents issued to the company's engineers, both past and present.

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