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Twitter Publishes Draft Of Innovators Patent Agreement (IPA)
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msg:4442084
 5:30 pm on Apr 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

Twitter Publishes Draft Of Innovators Patent Agreement (IPA) [blog.twitter.com]
One of the great things about Twitter is working with so many talented folks who dream up and build incredible products day in and day out. Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”.

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.



What a great idea!

 

Robert Charlton




msg:4442272
 6:19 am on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

In this day and age, that's absolutely enlightened!

Not only is it a wonderful thing to do... it's vitally important for maintaining innovation in technology. [webmasterworld.com...] I very much hope they can get other companies on board.

Tonearm




msg:4442346
 8:27 am on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

In this day and age, that's absolutely enlightened!

Not only is it a wonderful thing to do... it's vitally important for maintaining innovation in technology. [webmasterworld.com...] I very much hope they can get other companies on board.

I agree 100%, but from a business perspective, why would they do this?

r4bet




msg:4442348
 8:35 am on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

if they make a trusted place to upload ideas encrypted (inventor keep the password to protect his idea) then it will be great

anybody know such thing ?

henry0




msg:4442420
 12:13 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree 100%, but from a business perspective, why would they do this?


Attracting new developers and programmers more inclined to share their ideas in regard of patent new stipulation?

Tonearm




msg:4442427
 12:20 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Attracting new developers and programmers more inclined to share their ideas in regard of patent new stipulation?

I'm sure you're right. I didn't know programmers were holding back ideas over this. Maybe it's a preemptive hold-back preventative measure?

Webwork




msg:4442496
 2:05 pm on Apr 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is a commitment . . that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents . . in offensive litigation without their permission.


I haven't read the whole agreement but the summary (above) certainly foreshaddows the need for a close read.

Offensive vs. defensive litigation? How well defined is that distinction? It's often said the best defense is offense. I can hear the lawyers arguing about who started the fight, who's the victim here, etc. "Nooooooo, this isn't offensive litigation. We're the good guys. We're just defending our interests . . . by crushing TinyCo."

I trust that a "former employee", i.e. a "you're fired" employee, wouldn't lose their right to halt litigation, but I'm doubtful it's all that cut and dry. Fired for cause? Hmmm . . no, YOU lose your right to vote.

The heck with the agreement. In the words of the bard: "First, we KILL all the . . methods and process patents . . "

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