Twitter's yearly 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the company spent about $36 million on its purchase of nearly 1,000 patents from IBM to avoid legal difficulties, according to The Register. In January, news of this deal was released, but financial terms were not disclosed. This price means Twitter spent around $40,000 per IBM patent to avoid intellectual property litigation and other possible issues.
"Companies in the Internet, technology and media industries own large numbers of patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, and frequently enter into litigation based on allegations of infringement, misappropriation or other violations of intellectual property or other rights," Twitter noted in its filing. "Many companies in these industries, including many of our competitors, have substantially larger patent and intellectual property portfolios than we do, which could make us a target for litigation as we may not be able to assert counterclaims against parties that sue us for patent, or other intellectual property infringement."
The 10-K filing received plenty of notice in the business and legal worlds, prompting many news outlets to comment on the necessity of a robust patent portfolio in the digital age.