However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used
in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede
the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a
draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally
call the “IPA”.
The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in
the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from
Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for
defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’
inventions in offensive litigation without their permission.
What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold
them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.