Last year, we introduced a new way of handling patents called the Innovator’s Patent Agreement. The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. We put the draft agreement up on Github and over the past year, we’ve received a lot of great comments and feedback.
Today we’re launching version 1.0 of the IPA, and are using the IPA on our latest issued U.S. patent. That patent, U.S. Patent No. 8,448,084, entitled “User Interface Mechanics,” was invented by Loren Brichter (@lorenb). Under the terms of the IPA, we will agree with Loren that this patent will be used only for defensive purposes. If we need to assert the patent for anything other than a defensive purpose, we will need Loren’s permission.
The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers.
This promise stays with the patent: a signed copy of the IPA is kept in the public files for the patent where anyone can see it. We plan on using the IPA on all of our issued patents.
Our intent from the outset was that the IPA would be something other companies could use. To that end, we’re proud to announce that our friends at Jelly (@jellyhq) and Lift (@liftapp) are adopting the IPA for their patents. To those interested in seeing if the IPA is right for you or your company, please visit the GitHub site for instructions on implementation and an FAQ.
We hope the adoption of the IPA will spur constructive dialogue on making patent system work better for companies, inventors, and policymakers alike.
Postscript: This morning, we also received word from Stack Exchange (@stackexchange) and TellApart (@tellapart) that they will adopt the IPA for their patents.