Twitter Pledges to Limit Use of Patents in Lawsuits

Los Angeles Times


SAN FRANCISCO -- Oracle and Google were facing off in the second day of a high-stakes intellectual property showdown in a San Francisco federal courtroom Tuesday when Twitter made a surprise announcement: It pledged that employees who created its technology would exercise control over the patents so they could not be used as a legal battering ram against other companies.

Google says former Sun Microsystems Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz will testify that he supported Google’s use of Java. His testimony will bring to the surface that underlying tension in Silicon Valley among brainy programmers who build the technology and the deal-making executives who want to profit from it.

“Sun was fairly altruistic in their views about intellectual property assertion and ownership. Some people will see it as a sad day that the Java system built by people who wanted to have it used very widely and weren’t thinking about monetizing it has now become a big fat corporate asset,” UC Berkeley law professor Robert Merges said. 4/17/2012