Windows 8, especially its new Metro touch screen interface, could be very popular for app developers. But some are already thinking that their creations could be a target for Lodsys. This is the patent troll company who has already taken legal action against a number of iOS and Android app developers, claiming their apps are in violation of Lodsys' patent which it says covers in-app billing technology.
ZDNet.com reports that it received an email from an unnamed app developer who has been thinking about making a Metro app for Windows 8. However, the developer fears that Lodsys could take the opportunity to fire off a lawsuit against his business. The developer says, "Any Windows developers interested in developing Metro apps will be exposing themselves to a possible lawsuit from Lodsys because Microsoft is planning to use the same type of in-app purchasing system for Metro apps that iOS developers must use.”
ZDNet.com decide to contact Microsoft for a response. Microsoft sent back a statement which says:
We are licensed to the Lodsys patents and also have a robust and industry leading indemnification policy for customers of Microsoft products and services. To your reader’s question about developers specifically, this is not a typical indemnification scenario since it involves someone else’s product/application. However, again, Microsoft is licensed to the Lodsys patents so it is not something developers should be concerned about.
Even with Microsoft's statement, that's no guarantee that Lodsys won't take legal action against Windows 8 app developers. Florian Mueller, the founder of the FOSS Patents blog, believes that Microsoft, along with other companies like Apple and Google, must take a stand and fight for the app developers for their respective platforms. He says, "Those large platform makers have a responsibility and I don’t think any one of them has done nearly enough to respond to this issue, which is disappointing. Blanket coverage for small developers is the only real solution in connection with Lodsys, but no platform company provides it."