Twitter is being sued for patent infringement by TechRadium, a company that provides emergency alert messaging, broadcast and response systems to school districts, municipal governments, the U.S. military and other organizations.
TechRadium's system provides a platform where one message can be sent to multiple recipients on a variety of different devices, like cellphones, regular phones, fax machines or email. The reason for the suit is because several of TechRadium's customers have said that they may switch over to using Twitter to deliver their alerts, since it does basically the same thing but for free.
"The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, seeks among other things unspecified damages, recovery of attorneys’ fees and a permanent injunction against Twitter.
The patents Twitter is allegedly infringing are patent number 7,130,389, granted in October 2006 for a "digital notification and response system"; patent number 7,496,183, granted in February 2009 for a "method for providing digital notification"; and patent number 7,519,165, granted in April 2009 for a "method for providing digital notification and receiving responses."
This isn't a simple case of paying damages and moving on. Essentially TechRadium is trying to shut them down with a permanent injunction against using it's core technology. The biggest problem, though, is that it looks as if TechRadium has an airtight case against twitter.
So how do you think Twitter will weasel it's way out of this one?