Twitter did what many thought would be impossible, it created a new social-media network during a time that Facebook was taking them down one by one. Now the company that made ‘hashtag’ and ‘tweet’ a common-household term, now holds the patent on its core functionality.
The official USPTO has approved a patent for Twitter granting the company the rights for a system of messages. The system allows users to share and follow messages without a direct person for whom those messages are sent to or received by. Basically the heart of Twitter and its follow system and RT system. This patent progress began in 2008, when Jack Dorsey and Christopher Stone were named the intellectual property’s creators.
This doesn’t mean that Twitter will now go on a social-media cleansing, burning down any follow-to-unfollow system that currently operates online. Instead the patent will be used to protect Twitter from anyone that claims the system is not their idea, invention, or property or would like to use that framework for their own goals. Instead Twitter announced the ‘Innovators Patent Agreement‘ last year, which vowed not to abuse any patents granted to them. Twitter stated, “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”.
This doesn’t totally rule out the possibility that one day Twitter may seek a larger kingdom and start pushing on other popular social-site’s copied use of the Twitter system, but as of now that seems unlikely.
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