Twitter, TechRadium Agree to End Tweet-Related Patent Dispute

Twitter Inc., the online social- networking service, and TechRadium Inc. dropped a patent dispute over a way to send a message to a group of people.

The closely held companies asked a federal court in Houston to dismiss infringement claims brought by TechRadium against Twitter and counterclaims challenging the patents, according to a Dec. 7 filing. Matt Graves, a spokesman for San Francisco- based Twitter, wouldn’t say whether the companies reached a settlement.

TechRadium, which sells the Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS, filed the patent-infringement claim in August 2009, after some companies and municipalities said they would use Twitter for emergency notification services, such as hurricane warnings. Twitter lets users broadcast, or “tweet,” messages of no more than 140 characters.

Twitter began in August 2006 and the company said it now has 175 million users. It’s considering a funding round that would value the company at more than $3 billion, three people familiar with the matter said this month.

Officials with TechRadium, based in Sugar Land, Texas, didn’t return messages seeking comment.

The case is TechRadium v. Twitter Inc., 09cv2490, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston).

To contact the reporter on this story: Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Allan Holmes at aholmes25@bloomberg.net.

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