updated 11:03 am EST, Fri March 7, 2014
Patent purchase to end legal dispute leaves Twitter with 956 patents in total
Twitter paid a hefty sum to acquire a collection of patents from IBM, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing reveals. The January payment, which saw Twitter take ownership of 900 patents, was worth $36 million and also ceased the legal action brought against the micro-blogging firm for alleged patent infringement, though it will certainly not be the last it faces.
Twitter currently owns 956 patents and 100 filed patent applications in the US, according to Bloomberg. Aside from the IBM patent haul, Twitter had only nine patents to its name at the time of its IPO, with the remaining 47 gained through acquisitions of other companies and its own filings since that date.
The now-ended IBM lawsuit covered patents including the "Efficient retrieval of uniform resource locators," a "Method for presenting advertising in an interactive service," and the "Programmatic discovery of common contacts." While Twitter initially claimed to have "meritorious defenses to IBM's allegations," it opted to simply buy the patents rather than put the patents to the test in court.
"We presently are involved in a number of intellectual property lawsuits," states Twitter in the filing, and as its profile increases it expects "the number of patent and other intellectual property claims against us to grow."