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MacRumors
May 20, 2011, 02:39 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/20/eff-urges-apple-to-support-developers-against-lodsys-patent-threat/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/in_app_purchase_icon.jpg

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today issued a statement (https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/05/apple-should-stand-up) calling on Apple to defend App Store developers against patent lawsuit threats (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/13/lodsys-threatens-to-sue-app-store-developers-over-purchase-links/) from Lodsys, a company seeking licenses from developers for their use of in app purchasing and upgrade links.

The EFF lays out its case that because the developers are taking advantage of Apple's developer tools to deploy the functionality being cited in the dispute, Apple is in the best position to defend against the threat.This is a problem that lawyers call a misallocation of burden. The law generally works to ensure that the party in the best position to address an issue bears the responsibility of handling that issue. In the copyright context, for example, the default assumption is that the copyright owners are best positioned to identify potential infringement. This is because, among other reasons, copyright owners know what content they own and which of their works have been licensed. Here, absent protection from Apple, developers hoping to avoid a legal dispute must investigate each of the technologies that Apple provides to make sure none of them is patent-infringing. For many small developers, this requirement, combined with a 30 percent fee to Apple, is an unacceptable cost.Apple's developer agreement, however, precludes developers from turning to Apple for assistance in legal disputes, meaning the company could leave developers to fend for themselves.

Many observers have, however, argued that it is in Apple's best interest to step into the situation, shouldering the cost and effort in order to protect its valuable ecosystem of independent App Store developers. If developers are reluctant to embrace the App Store for fear of being targeted by lawsuits driven by their use of Apple technology, the platform could suffer significantly.By putting the burden on those least able to shoulder it, both Apple and Lodys are harming not just developers but also the consumers who will see fewer apps and less innovation. We hope that going forward companies like Apple will do what's right and stand up for their developers and help teach the patent trolls a lesson.Meanwhile, one week has passed since the first notices from Lodsys arrived in developers' hands, leaving two weeks until the firm's deadline for licensing passes and at which point it has threatened to file suits against the developers. Apple has yet to address the issue publicly, but the company is famous for waiting to speak until it has a firm grasp of the facts at hand rather than trying to address public relations crises as quickly as possible.

Article Link: EFF Urges Apple to Support Developers Against Lodsys Patent Threat (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/20/eff-urges-apple-to-support-developers-against-lodsys-patent-threat/)



ratzzo
May 20, 2011, 02:44 PM
Apple should obviously aim at protecting those who have made its Store what it is today.

dethmaShine
May 20, 2011, 02:46 PM
I am not well versed in software patents but looking at:

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-app-developers-need-to-know-about.html

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011/05/worse-than-lodsys-macrosolves-sues.html

it just feels sad.

Just read through both the articles and I feel an overwhelming fear among software developers. It just feels ridiculous to have such a faulty system in place where people look for money in the name of innovation.

Sad.

Popeye206
May 20, 2011, 02:52 PM
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It will be interesting to see how this pans out. Seems odd they waited so long to start protecting this patent. Very troll like.

thogs_cave
May 20, 2011, 02:54 PM
it just feels sad.

You're not alone. When was it decided that litigation was more important than innovation?

HiRez
May 20, 2011, 02:56 PM
Apple will have to respond. But, it takes time for them to investigate these things. Patent law is notoriously obscure and convoluted and I'm sure there's many, many possibilities and potential pitfalls involved. Apple has to be very careful as to what response they make and the exact wording of it. If they're already licensing Lodsys patents themselves, it gets even trickier for them.

Look at Apple's history, they generally do not respond to anything until they have a complete, thoroughly investigated solution or explanation ready to go. iPhone4 antennas, the cel tower "tracking", the Hon Hai suicides and worker abuse allegations, the white iPhone production problems, the various security exploits, and so on. They wait until they have the full grasp of the situation before they officially respond. Which is smart but can be annoying for those with a vested interest.

While it may look like they have their head buried in the sand and are doing nothing, I'm sure that is not the case.

TomMcIn
May 20, 2011, 02:56 PM
Don't see any mention of the RIMS, Androids and other software stores being involved or asked to take a stand. Hopefully, they will do their part and not just free load on Apple's efforts. A concerted effort by all of them would certainly have a better result.

Earendil
May 20, 2011, 02:58 PM
Apple should obviously aim at protecting those who have made its Store what it is today.

But only if they can. Apple has licensed the technology from them, so Apple admits by their own action that the patent is valid and worth licensing.

What the case will rest on is whether developers are protected by Apple's license. If Apple determines that they aren't, there is little that Apple can do but burn their own money, and burn that of the developers since until this is resolved, I'm sure the offending apps won't be allowed on the App Store.

damage00
May 20, 2011, 02:58 PM
Developers should expect something for that 30% Apple App Store tax besides just distribution.

the vj
May 20, 2011, 03:00 PM
Well Apple, use a tiny portion of those billions of $$$ you have to place things in order, it is just fair.

HiRez
May 20, 2011, 03:01 PM
Don't see any mention of the RIMS, Androids and other software stores being involved or asked to take a stand. Hopefully, they will do their part and not just free load on Apple's efforts. A concerted effort by all of them would certainly have a better result.

Yet. That's because they're not nearly as profitable or high profile as Apple's App Store and because Lodsys is casting a narrow net, as if they are "testing the waters". They know anything related to Apple gets attention, headlines, and they hope, faster results.

juicedropsdeuce
May 20, 2011, 03:05 PM
Apple should obviously aim at protecting those who have made its Store what it is today.

It's a non-issue.

-Steve

HiRez
May 20, 2011, 03:06 PM
Well Apple, use a tiny portion of those billions of $$$ you have to place things in order, it is just fair.

I'm sure Apple could pretty easily pay off Lodsys and protect developers. The problem is, that validates the whole scheme, and this is just one patent of thousands out there. If Apple caves, many others will surely follow, then it really becomes a problem. Apple cannot afford to cover licensing costs for (potentially) dozens or hundreds of these patents for all developers. Plus, if small developers start recieving a bunch of these lawsuits on a regular basis, think of the chilling effect that will have on the whole developer community. It's a disaster waiting to happen. They need to find a way to shut this down without encouraging other trolls.

SixPenceRicher
May 20, 2011, 03:06 PM
Come on, Apple. Grow a pair and protect those developers that have invested in your success.

MongoTheGeek
May 20, 2011, 03:11 PM
Any lawyers in the house? I guess there is no way to launch a pre-emptive strike? File a law suit somewhere besides Texas, to get the patent declared invalid as obvious, not actually an innovation, then perhaps file against other patents the company owns, even the ones they aren't trying to hit the developers with? Maybe file a class action suit.

Xeroxed threatening letters are cheap. If Lodsys pays a real price for the behavior maybe we can scare off some of the other trolls.

chrono1081
May 20, 2011, 03:17 PM
Apple will have to respond. But, it takes time for them to investigate these things. Patent law is notoriously obscure and convoluted and I'm sure there's many, many possibilities and potential pitfalls involved. Apple has to be very careful as to what response they make and the exact wording of it. If they're already licensing Lodsys patents themselves, it gets even trickier for them.

Look at Apple's history, they generally do not respond to anything until they have a complete, thoroughly investigated solution or explanation ready to go. iPhone4 antennas, the cel tower "tracking", the Hon Hai suicides and worker abuse allegations, the white iPhone production problems, the various security exploits, and so on. They wait until they have the full grasp of the situation before they officially respond. Which is smart but can be annoying for those with a vested interest.

While it may look like they have their head buried in the sand and are doing nothing, I'm sure that is not the case.

Couldn't have said it better. Apple has a lot of good employees but none are miracle workers and things like this take time to research and investigate. Apple doesn't like to lose and I'm sure they are busy whipping up something as we speak. If they lost this many developers would be pissed and possibly rip their software from the App store. Apple isn't going to want that since its their money too.

Developers should expect something for that 30% Apple App Store tax besides just distribution.

App store tax? I don't think so. Your paying for hosting, free publicity on the biggest software store available with an insanely easy sale system, and an opportunity to have your app rated by many people or displayed on the front page. 30% is really quite reasonable. If you want to see robbery look at console game developers who usually see 1 - 2% of the profits of a game while the publisher takes the rest.

I'm sure Apple could pretty easily pay off Lodsys and protect developers. The problem is, that validates the whole scheme, and this is just one patent of thousands out there. If Apple caves, many others will surely follow, then it really becomes a problem. Apple cannot afford to cover licensing costs for (potentially) dozens or hundreds of these patents for all developers. Plus, if small developers start recieving a bunch of these lawsuits on a regular basis, think of the chilling effect that will have on the whole developer community. It's a disaster waiting to happen. They need to find a way to shut this down without encouraging other trolls.

Agreed. I would rather them take their time and squash this rather than cave to it.

Popeye206
May 20, 2011, 03:19 PM
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+1

They always seem to be cautious.

juicedropsdeuce
May 20, 2011, 03:20 PM
Any lawyers in the house? I guess there is no way to launch a pre-emptive strike? File a law suit somewhere besides Texas, to get the patent declared invalid as obvious, not actually an innovation, then perhaps file against other patents the company owns, even the ones they aren't trying to hit the developers with? Maybe file a class action suit.

Xeroxed threatening letters are cheap. If Lodsys pays a real price for the behavior maybe we can scare off some of the other trolls.

LOL. You should go to law school. You can be the first lawyer to do pro-bono work that a billion-dollar company should be doing to help themselves. :rolleyes:

CFreymarc
May 20, 2011, 03:23 PM
Apple will have to respond. But, it takes time for them to investigate these things. Patent law is notoriously obscure and convoluted and I'm sure there's many, many possibilities and potential pitfalls involved. Apple has to be very careful as to what response they make and the exact wording of it. If they're already licensing Lodsys patents themselves, it gets even trickier for them.

My take is that Apple Legal is going into overtime on this one. The whole idea of patent holder going after implementers of a third party core technology has rather weak president. I expect one of the following to occur just after Memorial Day weekend.

1) Apple counter-sues Lodsys going after invalidation by showing prior art.
2) Apple settles out of court with Lodsys for some sort of license.
3) Apple buys Lodsys.

Let's get ready to rumble!

ViviUO
May 20, 2011, 03:30 PM
Back in 1992 I filed a patent for internet communication hubs known as forums. Now that the time is right, I am going to sue a bunch of websites.

Die Lodsys. Of course, since I have a patent on death, you will have to pay me first.

ten-oak-druid
May 20, 2011, 03:30 PM
My opinion is that Lodsys has a right to its patent. But then I saw that Apple is complying with that patent already. Can one application of the patent require both Apple and the developers to pay patent right costs? If Apple is already paying for the use of it, does that not cover the developers selling apps within Apple's app store and running on Apple's iOS devices?

Should be interesting.

aeaglex07
May 20, 2011, 03:30 PM
But only if they can. Apple has licensed the technology from them, so Apple admits by their own action that the patent is valid and worth licensing.

What the case will rest on is whether developers are protected by Apple's license. If Apple determines that they aren't, there is little that Apple can do but burn their own money, and burn that of the developers since until this is resolved, I'm sure the offending apps won't be allowed on the App Store.


thats a very good point. I think the devs are protected since Apple owns the distribution channel, which is nature of this patent. but we shall see. I predict a payoff, i mean settlement.

EatSleepMac
May 20, 2011, 03:31 PM
I doubt Apple will just leave its developers hanging like that. I'm sure they're just taking time to come up with the right course of action. If they do decide to let "developers fend for themselves" I could see a massive boycott from many indie devs. Basically Apple will not let this go unnoticed.

miografico
May 20, 2011, 03:33 PM
Apple will have to respond. But, it takes time for them to investigate these things. Patent law is notoriously obscure and convoluted and I'm sure there's many, many possibilities and potential pitfalls involved. Apple has to be very careful as to what response they make and the exact wording of it. If they're already licensing Lodsys patents themselves, it gets even trickier for them.

Look at Apple's history, they generally do not respond to anything until they have a complete, thoroughly investigated solution or explanation ready to go. iPhone4 antennas, the cel tower "tracking", the Hon Hai suicides and worker abuse allegations, the white iPhone production problems, the various security exploits, and so on. They wait until they have the full grasp of the situation before they officially respond. Which is smart but can be annoying for those with a vested interest.

While it may look like they have their head buried in the sand and are doing nothing, I'm sure that is not the case.

I would argue that this is potentially a lot bigger than all the aforementioned items in your post.

I honestly have a bad feeling about this one. I am starting to think they are going to make a simple we don't believe this to to be the case announcement and wait to see how it plays out in court.

I develop for iDevices. I like Apple's toolsets for development. I appreciate the licensing model. However, I have great fear that they aren't going to do a thing, but say we don't believe developers are violating your patents, but take it to court.

Anyone here with any real history targeting Apple platform(s) for development knows full well they have hung developers out to dry in the past.

If this winds up going down a dark road then the best we can hope for is Lodsys suing a larger firm who becomes annoyed enough to in turn counter-sue Apple to get them involved by force. And, before anybody says that cannot happen because of Apple's license agreement - some big firm is going to make the case that Apple cannot protect themselves from liability trying to license technology it doesn't have the rights to in the first place. That's only going to happen if Lodsys makes the mistake of going after a large firm with an actual legal team...

I have had two clients put contracts on hold with me for products they were interested in having us develop. This isn't an antenna issue, it is certainly not a workers rights issue this is the whole ecosystem up for grabs and the longer they wait massive amounts of money is lost all around.

The way this is handled will put the entire future of small development outfits on the App Store up for grabs.

the vj
May 20, 2011, 03:33 PM
I'm sure Apple could pretty easily pay off Lodsys and protect developers. The problem is, that validates the whole scheme, and this is just one patent of thousands out there. If Apple caves, many others will surely follow, then it really becomes a problem. Apple cannot afford to cover licensing costs for (potentially) dozens or hundreds of these patents for all developers. Plus, if small developers start recieving a bunch of these lawsuits on a regular basis, think of the chilling effect that will have on the whole developer community. It's a disaster waiting to happen. They need to find a way to shut this down without encouraging other trolls.


But imagine, in order to use YOUR STORE I have to pay for 3rd people patents. Is like any of use being sued for using patents running on OSX.

If Apple does not do anything, then the problem will grow beyond this! Now every developer that creates "a feature" will start suing every single developer that uses it.

Imagine: I designed and patented the infrared sensor of every mighty mouse, or the software that process that optical signal into data. Now I can suit ever user that makes money from my invention.

A tile wave of demands like that will happen if there are not rules established. Because Apple was the company who ask you to use that sort of system.

MongoTheGeek
May 20, 2011, 03:37 PM
LOL. You should go to law school. You can be the first lawyer to do pro-bono work that a billion-dollar company should be doing to help themselves. :rolleyes:

I wasn't thinking Apple should be the one to do this. They might file a nice amicus brief but I don't expect them to carry the load.

If the various sued developers get together in a class action suit the costs would out to around what Lodsys wants for licenses. I am not sure you could argue for much in the way of damages so the developers would pay something.

mack pro
May 20, 2011, 03:40 PM
Apple doesn't have time to deal with this they're too busy suing everybody and their brother.

HobeSoundDarryl
May 20, 2011, 03:40 PM
My opinion is that Lodsys has a right to its patent. But then I saw that Apple is complying with that patent already. Can one application of the patent require both Apple and the developers to pay patent right costs? If Apple is already paying for the use of it, does that not cover the developers selling apps within Apple's app store and running on Apple's iOS devices?

Apple is both an app creator and keeper of the store. It is probable that Apple licensing the patent was to cover their own app creations sold in their store. Lodsys going after the other devs is probably about asking them to do the same (thing that Apple chose to do).

In other words, suppose that Apple wasn't allowed to both run the store and be an app developer too. They split the app developers off to their own company: Apple-cations. This new company would probably need this license. The old Apple (the one that governs the store (and to which devs pay 30%)) probably wouldn't need the license.

bamf
May 20, 2011, 03:40 PM
Maybe I'm completely wrong here, but I think there is no way that Lodsys is going to file suit over these small alleged infringements on their patent.

Doing some quick reading, it looks like most patent claims cost ~$1,000,000 to go through the court system, and it is very difficult to get attorney's fees/costs from the defendant unless you can prove that the infringement was willful.

I do not think that Lodsys is going to risk $1M USD on each developer potentially to get less than $5,000 per claim.

This is a scare tactic. They want to make these developers pay up, but their payout if they take them to court is nowhere near the cost to do so.

Source material (http://www.sacramentopatentattorney.com/Briefs-Articles/should-there-be-a-patent-small-claims-court.pdf)

iLilana
May 20, 2011, 03:42 PM
Should apple be liable for the developer costs due to lack of disclosure? It sounds as though they knew about this and really didn't tell anyone.

BC2009
May 20, 2011, 03:47 PM
Software development is a mine field of patents. Software patents are not fostering innovation, they are stifling it. Drastic change is needed to fix this.

Software patents should only be considered valid during litigation when a valid software product incorporating the invention is actively marketed and sold by the patent holder that holds the patent. You can hold the patent until its normal expiration, but if you plan on going after somebody for using it, then you must be marketing and selling a real software product (and not just some bogus facade of a product) that incorporates the patent.

If you don't produce a viable product incorporating the invention within 24 months (i.e.: you are squatting on it and waiting for somebody to stumble across it on their own and thus infringe) then the patent should enter a "dormant" state. During the dormant state, any company incorporating the invention into a product automatically receives a perpetual unrestricted license to use the patent. The patent can only become active again once the patent holder releases (and makes available for sale) a software product that does incorporate the invention. However, any companies leveraging the invention during the dormant state are automatically grandfathered in because of the automatic perpetual unrestricted license.

If the patent holder releases a product, but ceases to make that product available that incorporates the patent for a 24-month period or fails to sell a minimum number of software product licenses within that 24-month period for their product (i.e.: the product is not viable), then the patent should also enter the dormant state.

Basically, this makes it far more expensive for patent trolls to operate, and it prevents folks from squatting on patents and then realizing their value once somebody else innovates and invents the same thing for themselves. You can hold your patent, but if five years down the road somebody else innovates in a way to create value for your patent you can then choose to release your own product, but all you can do about the already-released products of other companies is thank them for showing you how useful your patent might have been if you had gotten off your butt and done something with it.

ten-oak-druid
May 20, 2011, 03:52 PM
Apple is both an app creator and keeper of the store. It is probable that Apple licensing the patent was to cover their own app creations sold in their store. Lodsys going after the other devs is probably about asking them to do the same (thing that Apple chose to do).

In other words, suppose that Apple wasn't allowed to both run the store and be an app developer too. They split the app developers off to their own company: Apple-cations. This new company would probably need this license. The old Apple (the one that governs the store (and to which devs pay 30%)) probably wouldn't need the license.

I see what you are saying and you are probably right. The only thing I question though is that the button is for the use of accessing apple's store for upgrading. It is not as though they are using a feature that takes the user outside of the app store experience. It seems like that might be an important distinction. I'm sure it will be a factor in the lawsuit if Apple decides they thought their payment for use of the patent was to allow app store apps access to the app store from within the app itself. If apple feels they wrongly believed this was the case, they may argue to reduce their fees for the patent. If that is possible? I don't know. It will be interesting to see what Apple says.

It would be funny if the Amazon app was one of the affected apps by this situation and Apple were to defend developers. They would be fighting a legal battle on behalf of amazon while fighting them in court in another case.

yourstation
May 20, 2011, 03:54 PM
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I am with Apple on this. The term 'App Store' is a term which identifies a product that Apple brought to Market. Obviously Amazon and other have brought their own versions to Market too but it more of a brand name than a descriptive generic term. Just call it Android Store!

chrono1081
May 20, 2011, 03:56 PM
Should apple be liable for the developer costs due to lack of disclosure? It sounds as though they knew about this and really didn't tell anyone.

Um...no.

The part the article talking about regarding Apple eluding to not being responsible for legal matters is more with regards to a developer using a piece of copyrighted music in a game, or trademarked art or something.

The issue at hand is developers are getting sued because of a technology that is part of the API that Apple gives developers. Apparently Lodsys thinks that Apple buying a license wasn't enough and sat on this for 2 years roughly (I forget when IAP came out) and then decided to sue the little guys using Apples technology. Lodsys is in the wrong here, at least morally.

yourstation
May 20, 2011, 04:03 PM
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Don't see any mention of the RIMS, Androids and other software stores being involved or asked to take a stand. Hopefully, they will do their part and not just free load on Apple's efforts. A concerted effort by all of them would certainly have a better result.

Absolutely but as the largest they went straight for the big bucks. I see the mist straightforward way to proceed would be an updated developer agreement that will have apple collect this royalty on behalf of developers for future sales (I.e. In addition to the 30%). In exchange for Apple taking a major pro-active role all action against developers for backdated monies should be dropped.

ComputersaysNo
May 20, 2011, 04:09 PM
Here's a crazy thought coming from a non-lawyer background:

What if Apple hires all developers for a $1 contract? Doesn't the apps 'belong' to Apple then, thus following the license Apple has payed for?

miografico
May 20, 2011, 04:09 PM
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Absolutely but as the largest they went straight for the big bucks. I see the mist straightforward way to proceed would be an updated developer agreement that will have apple collect this royalty on behalf of developers for future sales (I.e. In addition to the 30%). In exchange for Apple taking a major pro-active role all action against developers for backdated monies should be dropped.

That would be them admitting guilt... So when the next patent troll comes along are they going to then add that on to their 30% fee?? How long will it be before 30% = 60% and it's not worth it to develop for iOS at all???

There is no possible way they can do what you just said.

skellener
May 20, 2011, 04:19 PM
Developers should expect something for that 30% Apple App Store tax besides just distribution.Absolutely.

DTphonehome
May 20, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Apple should tell them they will buy the patent for $100k, or bleed them dry in court. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

admanimal
May 20, 2011, 04:32 PM
But only if they can. Apple has licensed the technology from them, so Apple admits by their own action that the patent is valid and worth licensing.


The question is whether Apple specifically found and licensed the patent in question or if they simply licensed a bunch (like thousands) of patents in bulk, which is not uncommon, and this happened to be one of them. I believe one of the FOSS articles discusses this.

Here's a crazy thought coming from a non-lawyer background:

What if Apple hires all developers for a $1 contract? Doesn't the apps 'belong' to Apple then, thus following the license Apple has payed for?

This would probably make things extremely complicated for Apple, and possibly developers, from a tax and liability standpoint.

ciTiger
May 20, 2011, 05:02 PM
I also think that Apple should step forward on this... The developers favor iOS greatly and Apple stepping in would go along way to keep the developers happy...

HiRez
May 20, 2011, 05:15 PM
Here's a crazy thought coming from a non-lawyer background:

What if Apple hires all developers for a $1 contract? Doesn't the apps 'belong' to Apple then, thus following the license Apple has payed for?

Haha, that's probably impossible for all kinds of reasons, but I like your thinking. You might be right that they'll have to get "creative" in some way to solve this. No doubt there are loopholes to be exploited somewhere. In the end that might be the better road than trying to sue them, pay them off, or have the patent invalidated.

rudigern
May 20, 2011, 05:33 PM
Isn't this the same EFF that pushes licensing that is incompatible with Apples and fights against the App store and iOS.

I do hope Apple does stands up against this patent troll and this absurdly non-inovative patent but I'm sure Apple wouldn't care about what the EFF says.

miografico
May 20, 2011, 05:56 PM
Here's a crazy thought coming from a non-lawyer background:

What if Apple hires all developers for a $1 contract? Doesn't the apps 'belong' to Apple then, thus following the license Apple has payed for?

Then Apple would effectively own the rights to all developed IP on the App Store. I understand most of you are not developers here, but please understand contract law. None of us want Apple owning our applications, art, copyrighted material in general because their own licensing for their own IP does not shield us from litigation.

This is a lot bigger of a mess than I think some of you realize and I think some do not appreciate the facts here. If you take away free applications (no IAP completely free apps) from the App Store and you take away big publishing houses the majority of applications do not make an extreme amount of money. Many, many indies are doing this as a hobby or labor of love and not making much of any money at all. Many more are releasing lite versions of their apps and squeaking by with what little income they can by the use of in app upgrades.

If you take away the one or two man shops and you take away the small independent companies the App Store for all intents and purposes is dead as you all knew it.

Please factor in that if you're a one man shop or you run a small development company you have to have an innate fear now that even if you aren't doing anything wrong, even if you have no IAP in your app whatsoever, you risk being sued just by the very nature that you're on the App Store to begin with. When your operation is run on a shoe string budget you rethink the worth of even being on the App Store to begin with.

I have said it before if Apple doesn't approach this the right way this could set the precedent to effectively kill the App Store approach for the indie crowd and that's a massive slice out of the content of the App Store as a whole.

rols
May 20, 2011, 09:08 PM
But only if they can. Apple has licensed the technology from them, so Apple admits by their own action that the patent is valid and worth licensing.



Perhaps. So far only Lodsys has said that Apple licensed this patent, Apple hasn't confirmed or denied it. I also read a long article the other day which suggested this patent may have changed hands quite a few times and Apple (amongst others) is protected from enforcement of this patent because of one of a clause in one of those prior transfers. That's not quite the same as licensing it.

Yes there's more speculation than fact right now, will be nice to see how this plays out. I feel very sorry for the developers these guys have gone after and agree with much that has been said in these forums about needed patent reform and proper protection for people.

EatSleepMac
May 20, 2011, 11:36 PM
I'm studying to become an Apple Dev and this story is really bothering me. It's companies like Lodsys that make me glad that there's companies like Apple. I hope Apple tears this company to shreds in court for trying to step on the little guys.

jrtc27
May 21, 2011, 09:21 AM
Like many others I am a developer, and I was considering including in-app purchases in my application (the official version (http://2squaredstudios.com/products/tank-trouble-ios) of Tank Trouble) but now I am having second thoughts. I just hope Apple comes out and helps us developers out like it should do - they created the APIs and encouraged us to use them!

gnasher729
May 21, 2011, 12:31 PM
The question is whether Apple specifically found and licensed the patent in question or if they simply licensed a bunch (like thousands) of patents in bulk, which is not uncommon, and this happened to be one of them. I believe one of the FOSS articles discusses this.

Anyway, licensing a patent does in no way mean that you believe it is valid or worth anything. It only means that you thought licensing the patent was cheaper than a lawsuit. Even cheaper than a lawsuit that you would win.

ScottishDuck
May 21, 2011, 03:41 PM
Patents kill competition and innovation.

Bonte
May 22, 2011, 09:51 AM
My opinion is that Lodsys has a right to its patent. But then I saw that Apple is complying with that patent already. Can one application of the patent require both Apple and the developers to pay patent right costs?

I think MPEG, JPG and GIF work the same way, Apple paid for the licensing in osX and iOS but graphic applications also pay a licence on there own. There is a free licence to publish these formats on the internet but a license non the less, apparently all 3 players need licensing.

This is bad, Apple would (as a member of MPEG LA) need to fight one of its own businesses to stop this. :(

jonnysods
May 22, 2011, 12:38 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8J2)

I hope apple protects the guys that help them make the app store such a success. It's the right thing to do.

whooleytoo
May 23, 2011, 06:44 AM
I'll be surprised if Apple don't respond in some manner. Not necessarily because they have the good of indie developers at heart; but because they would hate the idea of someone muscling in and (in a manner of speaking) levying a 'tax' on App Store development. It's their turf and (IMO) they'll defend it vigorously.

caspersoong
May 27, 2011, 07:00 AM
Apple is awesome in helping the developers. Apple isn't as cold-hearted as loved to be spread about.