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Amid Tech Patent Wars, Twitter Suggests A Shift

Publication Date: 
April 18, 2012
KQED Radio
Cy Musiker

Professor Mark Lemley appeared on KQED Radio alongside host Cy Musiker to respond to Twitter's recommendation that patent control should be held by engineers, not lawyers.

The business of Silicon Valley is often the business of patents. Witness the Oracle-Google trial in San Francisco that opened this week. Oracle has sued Google for what could add up to billions of dollars. The claim: that Google used Oracle's Java programming language without permission in developing its Android operating system for smartphones.

Now, Twitter is proposing a new way for tech companies to do business, pledging to keep patent control in the hands of engineers, not lawyers.

Twitter's vice president of engineering wrote yesterday that "patents can only be used for defensive purposes." Host Cy Musiker talks with Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School specializing in anti-trust and intellectual property law.