And this is why...
Software Patents should be tossed out. Right Now.
It boils down to:
"Anything you can do, I can do better".
The arguments that follow "No you can't." and "Yes, I can." inevitably are a waste of time, money and effort!
In the same SEC filing in which Twitter announced that it will boost its IPO share-price range to $23 to $25, up from $17 to $20, it also revealed a bit of news that may worry potential investors: a patent contretemps launched by IBM. "We recently received a letter from International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, …
That is my thoughts. It would be interesting to know which other companies are already paying up for these. The URL patent seems a bit broad, so if that patent is holding water, Twitter can't be alone in having to work with them.
But, right...violating a patent trolls patent is one thing, but violating I.B.M.'s patent is a whole different matter entirely (just ask SCO...if possible).
IBM do use these patents. They use them to make money in order to fund research and development into new products and ideas. They hold many patents for disk drives and CPU production - the microdrive came from their research into quantum storage. The research failed but they used what they learned to make a traditional drive platter fit into a CF slot. IBM do this all the time, and that is their business model.
Patent trolls on the other hand, do no new research and charge for patents which they often bought in. IBM have probably done more for the industry than any other single company so if they want to profit from their work I say let them as long as they are genuine claims.
That's the last thing you want before an IPO. One of the few companies that wouldn't actually need staff to remain profitable in the foreseeable future taking you to court for patent infringment. To be fair to IBM they did help to crush the wind out of Santa Cruz Operation so it's not like they are usually the evil ones.
I'd imagine this would come down to how long Big Blue have ignored the infringements and whether they waited for the money to roll in. If they didn't defend for several years previous it could go either way.
The USPTO is a bunch of buffoons. If this was done manually, would it be patentable? Really, shorthand and a ledger entry? But since it's a software patent, it's oh-so-unique to the world.
How many times can a variation on a lookup be patentable? Shorturl, bitly, tinyurl, goo.gl, mcaf.ee and others all apparently infringe on that IBM patent. Are they paying? I have no idea.
I remember when Microsoft got nailed with a patent lawsuit years back. Microsoft had bought an older patent, and implemented it. Then someone with a newer patent sued them for infringement, and won. The newer patent is infringed by the older patent? Huh?
It's broken. It's all broken, and it's killing technology. However, I can't foresee the political situation that would result in getting the mess fixed. Maybe after world-wide civilization collapses and there's no electricity to run technology. Yeah, that's when all of this will be fixed.