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Lodsys Also Targeting Android Developers with Patent Infringement Claims


Patent holding firm Lodsys made news two weeks ago when they sent patent infringement notices to several small iOS developers over the use of In-App purchases and upgrade links in their apps. Lodsys is demanding that developers pay a licensing fee or face a potential lawsuit. While Apple has publicly backed their iOS developers against Lodsys, the legal status of the entire situation remains murky. Lodsys was still sending out legal notices to iOS developers at least up until Apple's formal response. Apple has claimed that their existing patent licenses cover their developers' usage.

Based on a Google groups discussion, it appears that Lodsys is also going after Android developers. At least one Android developer has been targeted with the same Patent infringement claims from Lodsys:
We recently implemented in-app purchases for our Android application and several weeks later we received a letter from Lodsys, claiming that we infringed on their patents.

Have any other Android developers out there been sent a letter? Has Google taken any action on this issue yet? Has Google given direction to any developers that have been hit by this? We are obviously a small shop and are not financially capable of defending ourselves over a litigation.
This news may even be somewhat reassuring to iOS developers. Like Apple, it seems unlikely that Google will let this stand. Google is also similarly believed to be a licensee of the same patent. Lodsys claims, however, that these licenses do not extend to individual developers on each platform.

iOS developer Villain CEO Dane is asking affected developers to contact him at dane@villainhq.com in an effort to pool resources in the event of a lawsuit.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

38 months ago
Buy the company, fire all the employees, put the patents into the public domain.

Just out of spite.
Rating: 7 Positives
38 months ago
this is a reason why Apple, Google and MS should all step up and just fight the guy and get the patent declared invalid. Lodsys and others are going to use things like this and target all the devs.
Rating: 6 Positives
38 months ago

Microsoft too? They make a smart phone OS??? :p


WP7 is head and shoulders above Android.
Rating: 5 Positives
38 months ago

Microsoft too? They make a smart phone OS??? :p


Microsoft and smart? :p
Rating: 2 Positives
38 months ago

Buy the company, fire all the employees, put the patents into the public domain.

Just out of spite.


I doubt it has any employees. What would they do all day? And to buy the company you'd need to give them lots of money. It's probably exactly what they're after.
Rating: 2 Positives
38 months ago
It looks like Lodsys is trying to rewrite the story of David and Goliath. Hitting a giant with a rock is one thing, aggravating giants with billions of dollars is another.
Rating: 2 Positives
38 months ago
If they loose they are going to have one heck of a big legal bill.
Rating: 2 Positives
38 months ago

this is a reason why Apple, Google and MS should all step up and just fight the guy and get the patent declared invalid. Lodsys and others are going to use things like this and target all the devs.


Microsoft too? They make a smart phone OS??? :p
Rating: 2 Positives
38 months ago

This is too much, Apple has licensed it for developers and it'll will be the same with Google. These careless trolls are desperately trying to make some money. Its time Apple and Google silence these trolls once and for all.


Maybe not. Part of Apple's legal argument is that their developers are covered due to the curated (google would say "closed") nature of the ecosystem. Here's a quote from Apple's response:

"These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store."

Android's "open" nature means that developers are not obliged to use google's channels and users are able to download apps from anywhere and install them via their SD cards. This is a very different legal situation and I can't see Apple's argument applying to android.


I imagine Google will step in now that Apple did.


Again, maybe not. Google have shown a distinct reluctance to stand up for hardware manufacturers hit by patent litigation. Why should they treat their developers any differently?
Rating: 2 Positives
38 months ago

Buy the company, fire all the employees, put the patents into the public domain.

Just out of spite.


Damn right.
Rating: 2 Positives

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