Twitter has revealed its plan to introduce fairness in the world of patents and is making the first move with a draft of the “Innovator’s Patent Agreement” or the IPA. Twitter holds a bunch of patents and wants to make sure that the actual innovator who worked on the patented technology has a say in lawsuits involving the patent.
Adam Messinger, VP of Engineering Adam Messinger, VP of Engineering at Twitter writes on the official Twitter blog, saying,
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.
Twitter dreams of a world where innovation is not hampered by patent trolls. It dreams of a world with proper use of patents. According to the IPA, the innovator’s rights to a patent remain even after they are sold to a third party. This ensures patents are not misused by trolls and this is a significant improvement over the current disoriented world of patents. However, one important pint to remember here, is that the ownership of the patent still lies with the patent owner, and the inventors are only a part of the decision making process, in case of disputes.
Twitter is undoubtedly being a trendsetter in this case. However, for this model to gain a respectable amount of acceptance, more companies should embrace it.