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The “smartphone wars” have been in the news for a while now and have spawned a host of comments about the use of patents and the amount of litigation in this arena. Amongst all this commentary you may have come across Twitter’s Innovator’s Patent Agreement (the IPA). Wired recently carried an article by Ben Lee who is the head of litigation and intellectual property at Twitter. The article can be seen here and the agreement itself is also available here.
Twitter suggest that they don’t want patents to impede innovation and the IPA is their answer. According to Twitter, the IPA essentially provides “a promise not to sue anyone unless for a defensive purpose”. We thought we’d take a closer look at the IPA and see whether it can deliver on its promise and what it means for Twitter.