The Innovator’s Patent Agreement is a nice sentiment, but the loophole potential is simply too great, and it doesn’t (and can’t) address the fundamental problems and dysfunction in the patent system.
The IPA is not as good as I previously thought.
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.
Twitter just introduced the Innovator’s Patent Agreement. With this agreement the company guarantees its engineers and designers that they will use patents only for defense purposes. This is great news. Now we have to hope that more companies are going to implement the IPA and that they do not become Yahoo.
The text of the IPA can be found on Github.