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12-31-2011, 04:33 AM #1
iOS Developers Continue to Battle Patent Troll Lodsys
There hasnít been much news regarding the legal battles between the patent troll Lodsys and the developer community but this doesnít 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 Lodsysí shaking down of developers. As of right now, it looks like the battle will continue well into 2012.
For those of you who didnít already know, Lodsys is a company which has gained a well-deserved reputation for patent trolling this past year. Despite Apple licensing the companyís in-app purchasing patents and allowing third-party developers to use Appleís 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, werenít 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 hasnít been any new information regarding that front since then. The Cupertino giant insisted that since itís already paid the licensing fees for Lodsysí intellectual property and developers are simply using its own in-app purchasing APIs, developers shouldnít 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 Appleís 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
12-31-2011, 04:52 AM #2
Surely if this actually gets anywhere all that will result in is a FRAND agreement?
12-31-2011, 07:27 AM #3
Why is Lodsys called a patent troll? what is a patent troll anyway? If they own the patents, why is it wrong for them to sue others? apple sues over frivolous things like "a rectangle shape, with a thin bezel and rounded corners"
If apple has an agreement with them, why does apple extend that to its developers? If I purchased an app from the app store can I share my purchased app with the rest of the world? there's a story about this very issue now on Redmond Pie--apple going after the people behind **********.
12-31-2011, 07:56 AM #4
A patent troll is a company that doesn't use the patents only uses them to stop other people using them. Apple do have products that are 'a rectangle shape, with a thin bezel and rounded corners' hence the difference. No one said it's wrong but that's the term coined. Much the same as yourself, what your doing on an Apple website isn't wrong but your an annoying troll nonetheless.
Apple IS trying to extend their agreement down. It's up to Lodsys to agree to that. There's a discussion into Apple trying to stop that downloader on this website too. Everyone one has their own opinions on piracy but at the moment it's illegal.
There is a very talented theme creator on this website. One of his themes was copied and put onto 'one of those sources'. The theme was called exactly the same but this 'source' took credit for themselves. The very dark side of piracy. Good luck to Apple stopping them.
12-31-2011, 09:10 AM #5
Exactly... Why didn't Apple build in protections for developers when the made the deal with them... or did they feel that was already included with the deal? So if they don't use iAP then they are immune to Lodsys? Seems like a case of capitalism, just the way we like it.
12-31-2011, 11:37 AM #6
apple is trying to extend their agreement down AFTER THE FACT, and that's the difference. you don't take $20 from your mom's purse then ask to borrow it afterward.
"A patent troll is a company that doesn't use the patents only uses them to stop other people using them" your definition of a patent troll is laughable and immature. there are many reasons why a company might not use its patents but that doesn't mean other companies are free to use them as they see fit. you know, kinda like your car sitting in your drive way but since you haven't used it all week, your neighbors can take it.
has it ever occurred to you that one reason a company might not use its patents is because--they're still developing it and or other technologies that are needed OR the haven't the funds to continue their projects. or like Google, buying patents to protect yourself from (frivolous) lawsuits from companies like apple (that stole everything from the name "iPhone" to the Android-like pull down notifications and BB messaging)
In the future, if you feel like someone is "trolling" because they have an opinion contrary to yours, do yourself and everyone else a fa or and just don't reply to their thread. I'm entitled to voice my opinion just as much as you are. I served my country and I think Ive earned that right.
12-31-2011, 11:56 AM #7
12-31-2011, 02:39 PM #8
12-31-2011, 02:55 PM #9
12-31-2011, 08:56 PM #10
Lodsys produces nothing. They never have. They are a shell company based in the Eastern court district of Texas, because that is the court most favorable to patent holders. Lodsys was given their patents by Intellectual Ventures; another company that produces nothing, and never has. Neither of these companies produced the innovation that resulted in patents being granted, they merely purchased the patents after someone (who never, themselves, produced anything other than an idea that they patented) had an idea patented.
The patents in question are more than 15 years old. With the current pace of technology, if you can't manage to produce an invention in that amount of time, then you are either in the wrong business, or never intended to in the first place.
The authority given to Congress to grant patents is in the U.S. Constitution. The purpose of the clause (if you read a lot of the published works of the time) was to protect inventors and give them a right to not have someone else make profits off their inventions in the "useful arts." Having an idea that never results in anything is not a "useful art."
Before you start calling others names, and before you defend a company's business practices, maybe you should take a little time and understand what you are talking about.Evolution of an iPhone User:
Pager -> StarTac -> Other Moto Phones -> BlackBerry -> iPhone -> iPhone 3G --> iPhone 3Gs --> iPhone 4 --> iPhone 4S --> iPhone Implant?
Evolution of a Mac User:
Apple ][+ -> //e -> IBM PC DOS -> Fat Mac -> Mac SE -> Windows -> Win 95 -> Win 98 -> Win 2000 -> Win XP -> Mac OS X --> Mac OS XI - Someday
iMac 27" Core i7 (2011) - MacBook Air 13" (2011) - iPad 2 32GB WiFi - iPhone 4S 32GB