Twitter paid $36 million for IBM patents to avoid a lawsuit

Twitter never said how much it paid to acquire more than 900 patents from IBM last year, but a newly published SEC filing reveals the company was willing to spend big to avoid a patent-infringement battle.

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James Martin/CNET

Twitter paid a hefty sum for a group of patents acquired from IBM, according to a newly published Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Twitter paid $36 million to acquire more than 900 patents from IBM, shows the filing published Thursday by the government agency. IBM announced the agreement between the companies in January, though the transaction actually completed in December. As of the end of last year, Twitter had a total of 956 patents and 100 patent applications, according to the filing.

Last year, IBM was banging the drums of possible patent-infringement against Twitter, saying that the company's service might have violated three patents it owned related to advertising, "resource locators," and discovery of contacts. Rather than take the case to court, Twitter bought the patents from IBM and entered into a cross-licensing deal.

(Via Bloomberg)

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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