Analysis of Lodsys' Legal Threats from FOSS Patents and EFF

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inapp
Certainly App Store developers are paying close attention to the legal happenings surrounding the Lodsys situation. Lodsys has threatened to sue some App Store developers over seemingly trivial patent claims. Here's some more reading material if you have a vested interest in the outcome.

FOSS Patents provides a nice FAQ-style question analyzing the situation between Lodsys and App Store developers.

This business model of targeting the defenseless is not completely new. Since the cost of successfully fending off patent assertions is high, many patent holders set their financial demands at a level below the cost of litigation. And unfortunately there's a whole lot of patent assertion happening all the time against the defenseless, i.e., those who wouldn't be able to afford a lawsuit due to the costs and risks involved.

Meanwhile, Engadget offers their own analysis with the help of the EFF's Julie Samuels:

The fact that Google and Microsoft and Apple have taken licenses on this already doesn't say that the patent is a great patent, but it does show that at some point Apple decided it was more financially beneficial to take the license than to litigate. Because Apple has already made that value judgement before, they might make it again.

Top Rated Comments

ChristianVirtual Avatar
126 months ago
I hope that the closed eco-system will protect the little developer. Finally developer don't have another chance than use the official API provided by Apple. So that might be an argument to justify that the license fee payed by Apple would cover all apps using the eco system.
But thats only wild guessing ...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sebseb81 Avatar
126 months ago
If Apple has indeed licensed this "technology" from Lodsys, what exactly does it cover? Is there any Apple-produced app that has an "In-App" upgrade button? I'm not sure, but I don't think so. If that's the case, then you would think that it would have been pointless for Apple to have licensed something from Lodsys that doesn't have any value (i.e. that doesn't cover the "In-App" upgrade button in apps by non-Apple developers).

Any thoughts?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MaxDrago Avatar
126 months ago

I also wonder if Apple could have licensed the technology on behalf of its developers.


I wonder if the argument turns to whether or not Apple's license does cover the developers... Is it licensed for Apple Apps or in the Apple API/development tools. :rolleyes:
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doctor Q Avatar
126 months ago
A license coming back to haunt them?

Apple decided it was more financially beneficial to take the license than to litigate.

Lodsys can use that decision by Apple as justification when claiming to developers that the patent applies to iOS in-app purchases. If that claim could have been proven false in court then Apple's litigation could have protected its developers from this situation.

I also wonder if Apple could have licensed the technology on behalf of its developers.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
louis Fashion Avatar
126 months ago
Law is law. But picking on a small time developer is somehow......I don't know....Thuggish.

Hope this works out so as to NOT degrade new products coming to the market.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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