Lodsys files more lawsuits; offers $1,000 "if we are wrong"

A number of companies who make applications for Apple's App Store found themselves with a big lawsuit filed earlier this month by a previously unknown company called Lodsys. This company claims that these app developers violated a patent that Lodsys claims ownership of. The patent, filed in 2003 deals with "information from units of a commodity across a network." Apparently Lodsys feels that apps that allow for in-apps purchases violate Lodsys' patents. Some developers who got hit with the lawsuit asked Apple for help. A few days ago Apple responded saying that they have actually secured the rights to use the patents from Lodsys and that the agreement also covers applications made by third party iOS apps.

Now Lodsys has gone on the offensive again, posting several new entries on its official blog site. One of them confirms that it has sent lawsuits to several developers, saying "Lodsys chose to move its litigation timing to an earlier date than originally planned, in response to Apple’s threat, in order to preserve its legal options." Engadget has a list of some of the developers who have been hit with Lodsys's legal attack. Lodsys also disputes Apple's claims, saying "Developers relying on Apple’s letter do so to their own detriment and are strongly urged to review Apple’s own developer agreements to determine the true extent of Apple’s responsibilities to them."

In the oddest blog post, Lodsys also offers to give each developer it is suing or will sue in the future $1,000 "if it turns out that the scope of Apple’s existing license rights apply to fully license you with respect to our claim relating to your App on Apple iOS." It adds, " ... we are willing to put our money where our mouth is and pay you something if we are wrong." This $1,000 offer only applies to iOS app creators, according to Lodsys.

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DrJens said,
Down with software patents! Want a patent? Build something!

This sort of ideas should not be patentable period. No matter what. This is a generic idea everyone thought about A LONG time ago. The technology was just not there. Selling stuff in a store should not be patentable. Online, Offline, in a game, ...

LaP said,

This sort of ideas should not be patentable period. No matter what. This is a generic idea everyone thought about A LONG time ago. The technology was just not there. Selling stuff in a store should not be patentable. Online, Offline, in a game, ...


Yeah I patented the idea that Ideas shouldn't be patent-able, so you can't use it. Seriously expect a lawsuit if you don't remove your comment.

LaP said,

This sort of ideas should not be patentable period. No matter what. This is a generic idea everyone thought about A LONG time ago. The technology was just not there. Selling stuff in a store should not be patentable. Online, Offline, in a game, ...

Yep, and these patents just get more generic as time goes by. It's utterly ridiculous.



Lodsys also offers to give each developer it is suing or will sue in the future $1,000

Ummm....wha? Making the offer to every developer you're suing is one thing but every developer you "will sue in the future" is quite another. I guess every iOS app developer on the planet can come forward and ask for $1,000 since after all, they could've been sued in the future at some point in time.

Everything being said, I hope Lodsys crawls in a hole and dies. Their B.S. general patent for what sounds like the process of leaving feedback and making purchases, a.k.a. commerce, is ridiculous. Bad enough Apple paid them to license their alleged idea of "making a purchase". The lowlifes are obviously upset they didn't get a bigger piece of the money pie Apple has cashed in on so they turn around and sue the little guy who they can bully. I hate these patent trolls. They get these broadly worded generalized patents and sue, sue, sue. It's extortion.

I hate when these no-name companies crawl out of a hole and sue the pants off people because someone else had a similar idea, ran with it, and became successful. Haven't they ever heard of "you snooze you lose"? That's exactly what happened here. Even if they're right--and win-- nobody will want to do business with someone like that.

I hope someone proves them wrong, countersues, and buries this ridiculous company. Pointless patent wars do nothing but stifle innovation.

Einlander said,
Only $1000? Surely it costs more than that to defend yourself from such litigation?
If they loose in court they will have to pay the legal fee's of the other party too..

Ryoken said,
If they loose in court they will have to pay the legal fee's of the other party too..

Only if the defense countersues for that and wins... And that's hardly a sure thing...

norseman said,
Die? Too many tweens on here. That or socially ****ed up adults.

You're just now realizing that? I've know that for a long time. Despite the fact that most of the polls here show the average age to be somewhere in the mid to late 20s, I am almost certain that it is closer to the early to mid teens. Hell, anyone here can claim to be any age they want, since there is no real age verification done.

roadwarrior said,

You're just now realizing that? I've know that for a long time. Despite the fact that most of the polls here show the average age to be somewhere in the mid to late 20s, I am almost certain that it is closer to the early to mid teens. Hell, anyone here can claim to be any age they want, since there is no real age verification done.

You're being optimistic. We may all have to deal with the reality some day that people in their mid- to late-20s are less and less likely to have developed much since their teen years.

And half of the people who criticize them will exhibit their own immaturity in the process by, rather than openly wondering what is impeding a healthy sense of perspective, simply going political or something and blaming whatever they hate about society today (ie., entitlement, need the back of a parent's hand, etc).

Joshie said,
You're being optimistic. We may all have to deal with the reality some day that people in their mid- to late-20s are less and less likely to have developed much since their teen years.

And half of the people who criticize them will exhibit their own immaturity in the process by, rather than openly wondering what is impeding a healthy sense of perspective, simply going political or something and blaming whatever they hate about society today (ie., entitlement, need the back of a parent's hand, etc).


Burn... ouch! ;-)
really well put though.

so we are using app developers for using the app store a outside party distribution system? uh what? that's like suing me because walmart carries my product and they somehow infringe on a patent at their cash register system

"This company claims that these app developers violated a patent that Lodsys claims ownership of. The patent, filed in 2003 deals with "information from units of a commodity across a network." Apparently Lodsys feels that apps that allow for in-apps purchases violate Lodsys' patents."

You got to be kidding me? The judge should throw that in the garbage right away.

I think this brings to light the issue of companies like Apple providing umbrella protection or umbrella rights/licensing to people who develop for their platforms, as well as how far a patent can go. Didn't one the CPU makers not too long ago (last few years) get hit with a complaint that the x86 or x86_64 couldn't be used by a child/split company of theirs? (Or am I being a total ardtard?)

Voice of Buddy Christ said,
Does Lodsys even have money to pay those claims with?

They get a certain amount of royalty from Apple for each app...so yes they make money from this patent, they are just being real greedy.

What about Android developers being sued? do they get a £1,000 offer

hmmm I can't see this going anywhere, the developers use a API from Apple, supplied by Apple

As the store and platform depend on small developers I am (hopefully) assuming that Apple (and google and MS) will squash Lodsys

This guy is nothing more than a patent whore. He is literally going around patenting every idea he comes up with and then reaps the benefits of of people actually turning the idea into reality. What a true douche-bag!!! I hope he chokes on all his patents!! Have a Nice Day!!!

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