updated 08:22 am EDT, Wed March 20, 2013
'Device independent message distribution platform' patent granted
Twitter has been issued a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for Twitter itself, a request it filed in 2008. The patent, described as a "Device independent message distribution platform," is listed as invented by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, both of which are founders of the micro-blogging service.
The patent abstract describes a way for a message to be sent by various means into a system, without it having to be addressed to anyone specifically, with potential recipients that elect to receive messages from the sender having the update delivered to them. This, relatively speaking, is an approximation of how Twitter itself works, according to The Verge, acting as a broadcasting system instead of as a messaging service.
Though this patent and another for the "pull to refresh" action, currently pending, are potentially valuable to the company, Twitter is unlikely to attack other companies using their patented technology. An Innovator's Patent Agreement that the company has signed up for would allow the use of a patent for defensive purposes unless Twitter received permission from the patent inventor or inventors.