A report in Bloomberg confirmed that Twitter paid a hefty $36 million sum for a group of patents acquired from IBM to avoid a lawsuit, according to a newly published Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
Cnet had reported that Twitter had not 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.
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 was 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.
Twitter now has 956 patents and about 100 filed patent applications in the U.S., it said in the filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Before its November IPO, Twitter held only nine patents, making it a target for intellectual-property disputes.
The deal with IBM was Twitter’s first for patent technology, not counting intellectual property gained by buying other companies. IBM has been granted the most U.S. patents of any company for 21 straight years.
“We presently are involved in a number of intellectual property lawsuits, and as we face increasing competition and gain an increasingly high profile, we expect the number of patent and other intellectual property claims against us to grow,” Twitter said in the filing.