Twitter granted patent ? for Twitter
If you have ever thought about creating a microblogging site to rival Twitter than you might want to think again – several years after making an application, the site's founders have been granted a patent.
The US Patent and Trademark Office explains that protection has been given to the "device independent message distribution platform", which will mean the fundamentals of the site can't be copied.
The patent was originally filed in July 2008 by Jack Dorsey and Christopher Isaac 'Biz' Stone and has taken almost five years to be granted.
Specifics of the document show that the patent applies to a system that is "configured to receive a message addressed to one or more destination users".
These messages can be sent through a variety of methods, including SMS, instant messaging and email without having a specific recipient in mind.
So what does this move mean for other social networking sites? Well there is likely to be some unease among anyone who has considered using Twitter-like features.
Many a social media strategy is expected to be under review over the coming days to make sure that there are no contraventions of the patent, which could land them on precarious legal ground.
However, experts believe that Twitter is unlikely to take action against anyone who has breached the patent.
A statement from Twitter read: "Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of our inventions.
"We also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future, which is why we introduced the Innovator's Patent Agreement to keep control of those patents in the hands of engineers and designers."
Biz Stone took to the social networking site to tweet about the success with the US Patent and Trademark Office, saying "Look Ma, I'm officially an inventor (my dream as a kid)!"
Posted by Emma Furze