The United States Patent and Trademark Office has given Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone a patent for Twitter. The patent lists Dorsey and Stone as inventors of the “device independent message distribution platform.” The patent request was filed in 2007. The patent essentially will allow Twitter a strong litigation defense against companies that they believe are infringing on their service.
The patent issued is number 8,401,009. Below is the abstract of the patent:
“A system (and method) for device-independent point to multipoint communication is disclosed. The system is configured to receive a message addressed to one or more destination users, the message type being, for example, Short Message Service (SMS), Instant Messaging (IM), E-mail, web form input, or Application Program Interface (API) function call. The system also is configured to determine information about the destination users, the information comprising preferred devices and interfaces for receiving messages, the information further comprising message receiving preferences. The system applies rules to the message based on destination user information to determine the message endpoints, the message endpoints being, for example, Short Message Service (SMS), Instant Messaging (IM), E-mail, web page output, or Application Program Interface (API) function call. The system translates the message based on the destination user information and message endpoints and transmits the message to each endpoint of the message.”
The other Twitter co-founder and former CEO Evan Williams is not listed on the patent. Twitter CTO Adam Messinger plans to use the patent purely for “defensive purposes.”