April 18, 2012- On Tuesday, Twitter said it would structure its patents in a way as to not allow them to be used for offensive litigation purposes, unless permission is granted by those who developed the patent.
Twitter announced its decision saying this would give the patent inventors more control of their creations. It will also ensure the patents are not use as a way of impeding the innovation of other inventors.
Twitter said it was a commitment on its part to its employees that patents only will be used for defensive purposes. Unless the inventor gives their permission, the patents will not be uses for offensive litigation.
Twitter does not have any patents currently, but sources close to the company said it has many that have been applied for. Over the last two years, litigation involving patents in tech companies has skyrocketed.
In March, Facebook was sued by Yahoo for allegedly infringing on a number of its patents, while smartphone manufacturers like Microsoft and Apple have engaged in legal wars with rivals like Motorola Mobility and Samsung.
Twitter said its limits on the use of patents would apply even when the patents have been sold. Analysts said this would help Twitter’s standing with software engineers, as some have been upset at seeing patents used as tools for suing other businesses.