Twitter Gets New Mobile Patent, Promises To Only Use It Defensively

Twitter has patented their mobile interface and promises to only use it defensively.

The social media micro-blogger site has successfully patented their mobile interface. That thing where you pull down to refresh on mobile devices is now their property, but Twitter has promised they won’t use the patent for lawsuits unless someone decides to take action against them.

A new assignment states that Twitter will keep the patent in the hands of engineers and designers in charge of the actual technology. In the “User interface mechanics” patent, control would remain with its developer, Loren Brichter.

If Twitter were to ever use the patent offensively to sue another company, it would need the permission of Loren Brichter to do so legally under the agreement.

Twitter legal director Benjamin Lee said Tuesday in a blog, “This promise stays with the patent: a signed copy of the IPA is kept in the public files for the patent where anyone can see it. We plan on using the IPA on all of our issued patents.”

Lawsuits fly all over the place in social media, with one site suing the other just because they copied something they did originally, and this new IPA is Twitter’s way of jabbing a big monkey wrench in the works. The patent is Twitter’s proactive solution to what seems a never-ending problem.

Benjamin Lee adds, “We hope the adoption of the IPA will spur constructive dialogue on making patent system work better for companies, inventors, and policymakers alike.”

Twitter hopes to see more social media sites use the IPA to put a stop to the problem of legal matters that don’t need to exist. Twitter certainly seems to know what they’re doing, especially since President Obama assigned Twitter’s privacy officer Nicole Wong to a position of government office. You usually don’t get promoted to a government position from social media legal staff.

What do you think of Twitter patenting their mobile technology for only defensive uses?