Twitter granted "pull-to-refresh" patent, but can only use it defensively

Twitter granted
Twitter is one of the more forward thinking companies when it comes to patents, so even though the USPTO has decided to grant the patent for "pull-to-refresh", which is used by a huge amount of mobile apps, the company has promised to only use the patent defensively. And, even if Twitter wanted to use it offensively, it can't. 

Twitter goes by what it calls the Innovator's Patent Agreement (IPA), which is quite an amazing policy. The basic idea is that any patent granted for a technology that was built while someone is employed by Twitter will remain in the control of the engineer. Basically, any patent under the IPA can only be used defensively, even if sold to another company, and can only be used offensively under the express permission of the engineer or designer who filed the patent. 

The IPA does apply to this patent, and so Twitter can only use it defensively. The patent came to Twitter because it was filed by Loren Brichter, founder of Tweetie, the day before Tweetie and Brichter were acquired by Twitter. Brichter has told Twitter that he only wants the patent used defensively, and so it shall be. And, even if Twitter wanted to break the IPA, the terms of the IPA state that Brichter reserves the licensing rights to the patent, so he could simply license the technology to whomever is being sued and nullify Twitter's suit. 

Not a bad system, right?

source: USPTO via The Verge

FEATURED VIDEO

10 Comments

1. alltechinside

Posts: 248; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

Makes sense. This should apply for other useless patents as well. (Apple comes into mind)

2. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Why is the IPA not law for all patents?! This IPA is wonderful, unlike the beer(to each their own).

3. dan_md

Posts: 66; Member since: Oct 19, 2010

bleh.

4. B3BLW29

Posts: 238; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Evil Fruit you need to learn from this..

5. cameogt

Posts: 88; Member since: Oct 18, 2012

Logia fruit eh?

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You had to reference Apple didn't you....

7. B3BLW29

Posts: 238; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

had to :D for the obvious reasons..

8. moroninc

Posts: 193; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

Orange? Raspberry? Mango?

9. thelegend6657 unregistered

I dont really hate Apple , just hate their patent trolling

10. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1357; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

This should be a real consideration for congress in demanding the USPTO really Look at this and see if it can be apply it to many of these patent disputes. I don't want to incite any flame wars but really, come on, any rational and logical person knows you cannot patent shapes, numbers, colors, food, natural materials and resources, gestures, bodily functions etc... anything that existed before - not corporate made should not be patent-able.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.