Twitter and IBM end legal battle with 900 patent licensing agreement

IBM Twitter
Thank goodness IBM was never forced to stop tweeting

Twitter and IBM have reached a cross-licensing agreement that puts 900 IBM patents in the hands of the social network, the two companies have announced.

They did not disclose any financial details of what transpired, though they did reveal that the transaction took place in December 2013.

This agreement marks the end of a legal dispute between Twitter and IBM that began in 2013, reports AFP, though IBM and Twitter's announcement rather tactfully fails to mention that detail.

Twitter had revealed last year leading up to its IPO that IBM had accused the social network of infringing on several of its patents, but that's over now.

A good example

The two companies have given no indication what these 900 patents might actually concern, so we've no idea how or even if it might affect Twitter users or other consumers.

But IBM has apparently topped the list of patent recipients in the US for the last 21 years straight.

Sure enough Google, Facebook and no doubt many others have scooped up patents from the company in the past.

"This acquisition of patents from IBM and licensing agreement provides us with greater intellectual property protection and gives us freedom of action to innovate on behalf of all those who use our service," Twitter Legal Director Ben Lee said in the companies' announcement.

IBM General Manager of Intellectual Property Ken King added, "We are pleased to reach this agreement with Twitter because it illustrates the value of patented IBM inventions and demonstrates our commitment to licensing access to our broad patent portfolio. We look forward to a productive relationship with Twitter in the future."

Now if only Apple and Samsung would learn a thing or two from the good example IBM and Twitter have set.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.