There hasn’t been much news regarding the legal battles between the patent troll Lodsys and the developer community but this doesn’t mean that Lodsys has disappeared. The folks over at Ars Technica
recently interviewed iOS developer Mike Lee, who is the founder of the Appsterdam Legal Defense Team
, which plans to fight Lodsys’ shaking down of developers. As of right now, it looks like the battle will continue well into 2012.
For those of you who didn’t already know, Lodsys is a company which has gained a well-deserved reputation for patent trolling this past year
. Despite Apple licensing the company’s in-app purchasing patents and allowing third-party developers to use Apple’s own in-app purchasing APIs in their apps, Lodsys has decided to go after several developers that use this API in their apps in an attempt to shake them down for additional licensing fees. Smaller third party developers lack the legal resources of a large corporation the size of Apple, so Lodsys probably counted on developers simply rolling over and forking the money without a fight.
Many developers, much like Mike Lee, weren’t prepared to do that. Lee has managed to encourage developers to band together to fight Lodsys as a team. "There is nothing you can do to prevent yourself from being targeted, regardless of platform," Lee told Ars Technica
, "and regardless of how careful you are, because this is not patent infringement, it is simple extortion, and it is worldwide."
Apple took some initial steps to try and intervene in the dispute between Lodsys and many iOS developers but there hasn’t been any new information regarding that front since then. The Cupertino giant insisted that since it’s already paid the licensing fees for Lodsys’ intellectual property and developers are simply using its own in-app purchasing APIs, developers shouldn’t have to pay additional licensing fees. It seems like common sense but Lodsys seems to disagree here. If awarded damages in its suit against developers, the App Store and the software development landscape could possibly take a huge hit.
The Appsterdam team has actively been researching how to best fight against Lodsys since August and plans to continue to do so into next year. The team is fighting not only for Apple’s developer community but al software developers on all platforms. I personally hope that the developers win so average users can enjoy the many apps that are currently in the App Store and the many more that are to come in the future.
How do you feel about the whole ordeal regarding Lodsys and their patent trolling? Share your thoughts and opinions below!
Source: Ars Technica