Lodsys Patents Under Attack as Legal Challenge to Their Validity Commences

lodsys wordmark
FOSS Patents reports that Lodsys, the company that has begun filing lawsuits against App Store developers for implementing in app purchases and upgrade links, now finds itself on the receiving end of legal action. According to the report, a Michigan firm has filed a request for declaratory judgment regarding the validity of the four patents Lodsys is using in its own lawsuits. While a declaratory judgment against Lodsys would not automatically invalidate the firm's patent claims, it would set the legal framework for further challenges and negotiations both in and out of court.

Yesterday, the aforementioned Michigan company -- ForeSee Results, Inc. -- filed a proactive declaratory judgment action against all four Lodsys patents. In that complaint, ForeSee Results Inc. said that Lodsys had "threatened assertion" of one or more of its four patents against ForeSee's customers. Foresee names three examples of customers that received letters from Lodsys:

- Adidas (I have published that assertion letter on Scribd so you can take a look at it; it includes a claim chart that looks similar as the ones that many app developers received, though it relates to a different patent)

- Best Buy

- WE Energies

The report notes that the move is a preemptive strike by ForeSee Results, as its initial filing in Illinois could allow it to have any future lawsuits filed against the named companies transferred there instead of being adjudicated in the patent holder-friendly courts of the Eastern District of Texas where Lodsys has been filing its suits so far. And while the legal challenge to Lodsys' patents does not directly include the App Store developers targeted by the firm, a win for ForeSee Results could help bolster the developers' cases should a verdict come soon enough.

Top Rated Comments

CindyRed Avatar
135 months ago
The American Way

Validity schmalidity. Thomas Edison taught us all you don't have to invent anything to be considered an inventor. Just patent EVERYTHING, sue people who actually do the inventing, lather, rinse, repeat. That is the American way! To question validity of a patent is to question the patent system itself, and force real innovation.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jav6454 Avatar
135 months ago
Lodsys just opened the Pandora's box of patents. Hope they like it.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ComputersaysNo Avatar
135 months ago
This is what happens when you are seriously uncool.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miografico Avatar
135 months ago
I find it interesting that at the state level, Texas feels the same way (http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/politics/entries/2011/05/24/senate_approves_loser_pays_ref.html?cxntfid=blogs_postcards).

For those of you who ask why go to East Texas for this, think about the type of cases that make it to the Ninth Circuit court. I make no comment on the merit of any of the cases, but you will see a radical difference. Venue shopping all around.
Well, the big guys pull the same BS with district shopping - it's not just patent trolls.

Patents in general are an affront to the free market. We are led to believe that who gets to market with their invention/idea first is the victor and that is simply not the case. It's 20% the invention itself, 20% it's economic value based upon cost to produce/retail price and 60% how good you are at marketing it to your consumer.

The patent system started off as with noble intentions, but today they have two uses: for mega conglomerates to stifle inovation and for patent holding companies to simply use them as tradable securities.

I understand that everyone here does not have a degree in engineering, but do not be fooled by the propaganda rhetoric that something is a miraculous invention/piece of engineering. If I look at your mechanical arm and I say to myself if I change, this, this, this and this to make it better - how is that your invention anymore? It's not but chances are if mine is better than the original product of a major corporation - I am going to get sued.

It's more extreme in cases of software. You can make the argument that nothing has the originality in software to be able to be granted a patent -based upon the source of all software having the same root: binary. If I am not able patent an invention on top of your invention why am I able to patent software on top of an already prescribed subsystem?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SeanMcg Avatar
135 months ago
...This case is a perfect example of the need for tort reform and the mandatory restitution of legal fees in class action lawsuits by the losing party. Until that happens the US is going to continue on a downward momentum as a safe place for inovation, but unfortunately when we time after time vote for politicians who are ex-lawyers we reap what we sow.

I find it interesting that at the state level, Texas feels the same way (http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/politics/entries/2011/05/24/senate_approves_loser_pays_ref.html?cxntfid=blogs_postcards).

For those of you who ask why go to East Texas for this, think about the type of cases that make it to the Ninth Circuit court. I make no comment on the merit of any of the cases, but you will see a radical difference. Venue shopping all around.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mike Oxard Avatar
135 months ago
Why are some courts more patent-holder friendly? I guess the law can be open to some interpretation, but for one area to be consistently used to bring these patent cases does sound a lot like there are backhanders being made.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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