Patent war 2.0: Twitter v. TechRadium
If the Microsoft-Lucent battle showed patent wars' longevity, this lawsuit filed against Web 2.0 darling Twitter last fall shows that they aren't going away anytime soon. It also presents an interesting question: is a company liable for patent infringement if its service wasn't designed with the infringement in mind?
TechRadium is a company that specializes in getting emergency alerts out to multiple users quickly, through a service called IRIS. Clients can choose how these alerts can be sent, and in what order -- for instance, they could first receive a text message, then an automated voice call at a different number if that isn't acknowledged. TechRadium's patent covers the multi-device angle in particular.
TechRadium's attorney says that he and his clients "don't really give a damn about social networking." But they do care that government agencies are starting to use Twitter as a means to disseminate information, including emergency data, to multiple devices (since you can read Twitter on your computer, on your phone, on, uh, your Internet-enabled TV...) -- even though Twitter has never actively promoted itself for these purposes.
Picture courtesy of CC Chapman