Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Twitter says it wants to solve the “journalists’ careers end because someone digs up an old tweet” problem
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
May 21, 2013, 2:08 p.m.
LINK: www.theverge.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   May 21, 2013

Twitter officially patented its “pull-to-refresh” technology for streaming on its mobile app today, The Verge reports. But Twitter also has an original, internal approach to patent applications.

All Twitter’s patents include a contract in which the company agrees to engage in patent litigation only if they are sued first. The contract is meant to deal with the concerns of the engineers whose work is being patented, and who feel the definition of defensive litigation can be fuzzy.

“[Engineers] were going around saying we’re worried about what patents mean,” said Twitter IP attorney Ben Lee, who drafted the IPA and guided it through the revision process. “The IPA is an expression of the values of the company.”

Lee’s work on the IPA began during his initial job interview with Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray in November of 2010. “The notion of trying to come up with new ways of handling patents was a major reason for me coming to Twitter in the first place,” he said. “I don’t think it was that long after that we were already having significant conversations with the engineers and senior management about some things we could do.”

Unfortunately, work on the IPA was put on hold not long after Lee joined Twitter — a patent troll had sued the company over a junk patent on “virtual communities,” and Lee spent serious time living in a Virginia hotel room as the case went to trial. “We’ve seen the negative impact” of patent abuse, he says. “And we’re a young company.”

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Twitter says it wants to solve the “journalists’ careers end because someone digs up an old tweet” problem
“These are some of the biggest reasons why people don’t tweet. Which is why we actually take this very seriously.”
Can Spotify be the one to finally get people listening to short podcasts?
Plus: ESPN jumps into the daily flagship audio game, the podcast book tour, and more impeachment podcasts.
In a corner of Brazil, local reporters are switching to government jobs and the state is achieving “media capture”
A strategy of “capturing the main professionals from the newspapers, in their respective fields of work, and thus reduce the tensions of being disturbed by the journalists every single day.” “Memory is crucial for journalism, and we are losing it.”