So Twitter have finally been granted a patent for, well, Twitter. They applied for the patent in 2007 and it has only just been granted given that these things take a while to work their way through the system.
From what I understand the patent is pretty widely worded and could be interpreted as many things and cover all multitude of sins, however, if it covered things that look like Twitter then APP.NET should be worried.
APP.NET looks and feels like Twitter and the only major difference is that it is a paid service with a limited free account also available. The site was originally crowd funded with the mission to provide a Twitter-like site that focussed on the users rather than the advertisers and would achieve this through the subscription model.
I was lucky enough to get a free account recently and my observations on using the service were that it felt like a grey version of Twitter with fewer people to follow and while its aims are laudable I could see a strong enough reason for using it. Yes the ads on Twitter are a pain but they are hardly that intrusive.
For me the threat to APP.NET from the Twitter patent is a real one, it really is a clone of the service to my mind, but I do wonder if lack of uptake might do for the service before Twitter gets round to costly litigation.