Monday, March 26, 2012

The Pull-to-Refresh Patent

Dustin Curtis found that Twitter has a patent on Twitter/Tweetie’s pull-to-refresh gesture.

Update (2012-03-29): Buzz Andersen:

Ultimately, I decided to nix the pull-to-refresh idea and go with a straightforward button because I felt the whole thing was a bit too self-consciously clever and not discoverable enough (the above iteration of the design was actually an attempt to solve the discoverability problem, but I still never really warmed up to it). This, of course, seems silly now since we all know how well received the idea was, but it’s very easy to forget that at the time Loren and I were racing to build the perfect Twitter client, nobody really knew what an iOS Twitter client should look like.

Neven Mrgan:

Simple ideas like this will naturally occur to many people. A small percentage of those will have the ability to execute on them. A small percentage of those will then actually do so. And an even smaller group will combine it with an otherwise interesting product, thus making it into something.

Also, it’s been noted that this is a patent application; it’s not necessarily been granted yet.

Update (2012-04-17): Twitter:

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.

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