Twitter buys 900 patents from IBM to end infringement spat

The social network bulks up its patent portfolio -- and ends a patent infringement dispute -- by inking a deal with IBM back in December.

James Martin/CNET

Twitter and IBM are no longer at odds over patents.

IBM on Friday announced that it inked a deal with Twitter in December that saw the social network acquire over 900 of its patents. The companies also entered into a cross-licensing deal on patents, though details on that agreement weren't announced.

The deal came about a month after Twitter revealed that IBM had accused it of violating three of its patents related to advertising, "resource locators," and discovery of contacts. Big Blue was willing at that time to handle the situation outside of court, and that appears to be what happened.

Twitter's patent purchase could help the company defend itself against future patent infringement lawsuits. Last year, the company acknowledged that it was "involved in a number of intellectual property lawsuits," adding that it expected further suits in the coming years. The newly acquired IBM patent portfolio might help it fend off some of those suits.

Financial terms of the deal between the companies were not disclosed.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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