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March 10, 2014

Twitter Dishes Out $36 Million For Patents

Move Comes After IBM Threatens Legal Action

Twitter has dug deep into its pockets in a bid to avoid a lawsuit.

Papers filed with the Securities Exchange Commission show Twitter paid $36 million to IBM for 900 patents. The purchase comes after a threat last November by IBM to sue the social network over three patents. The patent exchange was announced earlier this year but the financial amount associated was not disclosed until the papers became public Thursday.

In the document, it is shown Twitter now holds nearly 1,000 U.S. patents with 100 more applications pending approval.

“Many companies in these industries, including many of our competitors, have substantially larger patent and intellectual property portfolios than we do, which could make us a target for litigation as we may not be able to assert counterclaims against parties that sue us for patent, or other intellectual property infringement,” Twitter said in the papers.

That’s obvious — IBM was threatening legal action late last year over three patents which were similar to their own.

Such legal sparring is not unusual in the tech field with companies regularly threatening patent suits against competitors. As reported by Wired, Apple and Microsoft, as an example, are investors in one patent company that has sued Google.


W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.