• Your favorite

    Apple

    ,

    iPhone

    ,

    iPad

    ,

    iOS

    ,
    Jailbreak
    , and
    Cydia
    site.
  • Patent Trolls Strike Again, Developers Pull Apps From App Store Fearing Lawsuits



    Kootol, an India based company, has started sending out legal notices to a number of developers including IconFactory, the makers of Twitteriffic.

    The legal notices sent out claim the companies are infringeing on a US patent for Twitter style realtime feeds. It seems the entire iOS Twittaverse should be receiving legal notices soon. I'm surprised no patent trolls have tried to send legal notices to companies over patents for "displaying numbers and letters in such a way that they can be read and understood."

    How vague can these patents be? Between Apple trying to kill every other smartphone OS, and ridiculous patents over Twitter feeds, what other vague barely describable ideas are left to patent?

    Luckily for international developers the patent only applies to those companies residing in the U.S. International developers like Simon Maddox have already started pulling their Apps from American app stores, in both the Android and iOS markets. Shaun Austin another U.K. developer even went as far as to tweet "selling software in the US has already reached the non-viable tipping point."

    Turns out by the time I finished writing this article Kootol already filed for the same patent in Europe, Canada, and India. Patent trolls will slowly suck the life out of the development community. If this isn't proof the U.S. and world wide patent system needs to be updated to accommodate the digital world, I don't know what is.

    Source: iPhoneHacks
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Patent Trolls Strike Again, Developers Pull Apps From App Store Fearing Lawsuits started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      Most of these companies just want a free piece of the pie. If they start getting cuts, the prices of apps go up.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      I feel like Phillip has done no research at all into patents in general, this specific patent, and the other patents he mentions in this article. Just seems like a personal opinion, bashing patents as a whole.
    1. mortopher's Avatar
      mortopher -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      I feel like Phillip has done no research at all into patents in general, this specific patent, and the other patents he mentions in this article. Just seems like a personal opinion, bashing patents as a whole.
      Please, elaborate on why you think this.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      Sounds like he knows what he's talking about to me...

      I am so sick of hearing about patents(no offense Phil, I love the news you bring). Why can't we all just get along.
    1. Orby's Avatar
      Orby -
      Quote Originally Posted by mortopher View Post
      Please, elaborate on why you think this.
      Not to criticize, but I'd love to see patent number(s) and descriptions of the patents in question that are being "infringed" (The Guardian lists the patent in question as US Patent Application No. 11/995,343).

      OT: Figures. Somebody "little" (e.g., not a well-funded or upset corporation) gets their hands on a patent either via purchase or application that covers a lot of prior art (EDIT: This patent was originally filed in '05, Twitter itself launched in July of '06) or is very vaguely worded in its claims, and then they go to town trying to milk a licensing/settlement deal out of everybody they can who doesn't have the wherewithal to lawyer up. It's a surprisingly good investment on the face of it... according to this document, it cost Kootol $1055 for the application and filing. Even if we assume $100,000 in legal fees, that's still looking like a good opportunity to make out like bandits.

      Though if the USPTO link is the accurate application text of the patent... its grammar and spelling is so deplorable I'm shocked it was even seriously considered (and my estimate of $100,000 in legal fees is far too high).
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Swanson View Post

      I'm surprised no patent trolls have tried to send legal notices to companies over patents for "displaying numbers and letters in such a way that they can be read and understood."

      How vague can these patents be? Between Apple trying to kill every other smartphone OS, and ridiculous patents over Twitter feeds, what other vague barely describable ideas are left to patent?

      Patent trolls will slowly suck the life out of the development community. If this isn't proof the U.S. and world wide patent system needs to be updated to accommodate the digital world, I don't know what is.
      I was asked why I thought this article
      of Phillips was basically his own opinion, not facts that he had researched...these are the statements that made me think that.

      If I didn't know better, I would think these statements came from a forum member, not a actual writer for this site. I usually enjoy Phillips humor and whit, but when your engaging a topic like this, you have to back your words up with actual facts, not just personal opinions.

      His use of the term "patent trolls" is enough to show he is quite biased when it comes to the idea of patents. I am no patent expert, and don't claim to be. But I feel, that the editors of this site should be a little bit more, lets say...."fair and balanced". I feel like I'm reading a article from Fox news!
    1. iPhoneAndrew's Avatar
      iPhoneAndrew -
      Apple would patent water if they could
    1. andypropaganda's Avatar
      andypropaganda -
      How the **** is a company even allowed to patent a way to display another companies data? That's a waste of a ******* patent in itself.
    1. Brr's Avatar
      Brr -
      Quote Originally Posted by iLoveWindows&iPhone View Post
      I was asked why I thought this article
      of Phillips was basically his own opinion, not facts that he had researched...these are the statements that made me think that.

      If I didn't know better, I would think these statements came from a forum member, not a actual writer for this site. I usually enjoy Phillips humor and whit, but when your engaging a topic like this, you have to back your words up with actual facts, not just personal opinions.

      His use of the term "patent trolls" is enough to show he is quite biased when it comes to the idea of patents. I am no patent expert, and don't claim to be. But I feel, that the editors of this site should be a little bit more, lets say...."fair and balanced". I feel like I'm reading a article from Fox news!
      The writer is not a reporter that is reporting facts. He's making a 'journalistic' opinion that he has every right to do. He can take any side he desires.

      ...now it's time for you to go soak up your NPR.
    1. Phillip Swanson's Avatar
      Phillip Swanson -
      I'll make sure to include the patent numbers from now on in every article about patents (I have included them, with links to the USPTO in many before this), which I will admit has reached a ridiculous level, but so has the number of patent suits in the telecom, new media, and emerging technology sectors. I do appreciate the feedback Orby.

      I was asked why I thought this article
      of Phillips was basically his own opinion, not facts that he had researched...these are the statements that made me think that.

      If I didn't know better, I would think these statements came from a forum member, not a actual writer for this site. I usually enjoy Phillips humor and whit, but when your engaging a topic like this, you have to back your words up with actual facts, not just personal opinions.

      His use of the term "patent trolls" is enough to show he is quite biased when it comes to the idea of patents. I am no patent expert, and don't claim to be. But I feel, that the editors of this site should be a little bit more, lets say...."fair and balanced". I feel like I'm reading a article from Fox news!
      El Zurdo
      The moniker "Patent Trolls" may be biased, but in this case it certainly isn't undeserved. The company in question is trying to implement a patent they filed in 05' a year before Twitter even emerged. They're trying to apply a patent using a very vague interpretation and in the process apply it to a broad number of products which aren't even specifically mentioned in the patent.

      I don't have a grudge against patents as a whole, they are an essential part of an individual's Intellectual Property rights. Without patents no one would be able to monetize or claim ownerships to new and original ideas. However, the same system that allows innovators a right to own their innovations, has also bread a species of copycats who utilize the legals system in a bully type manner to squeeze money out of those who can't afford the costs of litigation.
    1. centori's Avatar
      centori -
      I just hope no one will patents on farting, eating, breathing, walking, running, sleeping, etc .... processes,. That will be "End of the world". Just to illustration the stupid and selfish human are.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Quote Originally Posted by centori View Post
      I just hope no one will patents on farting, eating, breathing, walking, running, sleeping, etc .... processes,. That will be "End of the world". Just to illustration the stupid and selfish human are.
      I'm going to patent.............PATENTING.

      Muahahaha!
    1. Stray's Avatar
      Stray -
      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      I'm going to patent.............PATENTING.

      Muahahaha!
      I think that has been patented