My thoughts on the convergence of online and offline identities, communication tools, and the new technology that's changing the way we interact with content and one another. Plus anything else I feel like sharing.
Twitter was just officially granted a patent on the ubiquitous pull-to-refresh gesture — a touch interface concept the company acquired when it purchased Tweetie developer Atebits in 2010 and…
This is a very interesting legal move by Twitter. One important element of agreements, is that they can be interpreted clearly by other people in the future. In other words, the current intent of the policy is irrelevant unless it is captured definitively in the language of the IPA. What happens if Twitter starts to struggle? Do they go down with this “bullet in the chamber” and not use it?
Imagine this scenario: 5 years from now, Twitter is struggling, and the current legal team and Sr. engineers (the ones who currently see “eye-to-eye” on this issue) have moved on to other things. If the opportunity arises for Twitter to benefit from this patent offensively, will they do it? Could they afford not to do it?
There’s a middle ground here as well. Look at AOL’s sale of their patent portfolio. What happens if Twitter is forced to sell some patents. Will they force the purchaser to adhere to their “defense only” policy?
Only time will tell. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.