Lodsys Agrees to Dismiss Patent Case Against Small Developer for a Charitable Donation

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Back in May 2011, patent holding firm Lodsys began threatening lawsuits against a number of small iOS developers, alleging infringement of a Lodsys-held patent through the use of Apple's in-app purchase and upgrade functionalities. The case was an interesting one because small developers were being held liable for their use of Apple's supported tools for iOS apps, with Apple agreeing to back the developers and claiming that Apple's existing license with Lodsys automatically extended to cover third-party developers using those tools.

    Lodsys continued to pressure developers, both large and small, to take out their own licenses for Lodsys' patents, with many developers choosing to purchase licenses rather than fight in court. Lodsys now claims over 200 licensees for its patents.

    [​IMG]
    While news about Lodsys had been relatively quiet through late 2012 and early 2013, the firm once again made a splash in April of this year when it filed suit against Disney, Gameloft, and several other developers and companies. Aside from a brief June announcement from Lodsys noting that Angry Birds developer Rovio has taken a license for Lodsys' patents, things had once again turned quiet through the middle of this year.

    But as noted in a blog post today from developer Todd Moore, whose firm TMSOFT is responsible for several dozen iOS and Mac apps, Lodsys has curiously agreed to dismiss its case against him in exchange for an end to the dispute and a mutual charitable donation from the two sides (via @DotComCTO).
    Moore notes that the only reason he was able to fight Lodsys in court was that he had pro bono assistance from the Public Patent Foundation, with attorneys there estimating that their time spent on the case could normally have been billed at roughly $190,000 even before it headed to trial. He also highlights the ease with which Lodsys is able to file patent lawsuits against small developers and his continuing efforts at supporting patent reform.

    It remains unclear whether Lodsys' move to dismiss the case against Moore and TMSOFT is part of a strategy shift for the firm or if it simply realized that it was not worth pursuing a protracted fight against a small developer receiving free legal representation. We have yet to hear of any similar settlements, although many developers have understandably been reluctant to share details on their own experiences with Lodsys.

    Article Link: Lodsys Agrees to Dismiss Patent Case Against Small Developer for a Charitable Donation
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    nepalisherpa

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  3. AngerDanger, Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    AngerDanger

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    #3
    Ah, yes, the Lodsys Charity for Starving Patent Lawyers Red Cross.
     
  4. macrumors 68030

    Popeye206

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    #4
    Patent trolls!

    Can't stand these types of companies! Good to hear that they may be backing down.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    SgtPepper12

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  6. macrumors 68000

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    #6
    they knew if they went to court and lost then they would lose their other 200 licencees because the precedent would be set that their patents were invalid. They only prey on companies that they know won't fight back because then they can keep doing it over and over. As soon as a judge rules against them for one case the party is over
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Yeah, I find it hard to take serious a company whose logo looks like it was designed by some 7 year old on Microsoft Publisher, circa 1995.

    Hopefully an actual designer didn't vomit that thing out. It looks more like something that would come from some company exec who fancied himself a bit of a Renaissance man who could handle the company's graphic arts needs, while simultaneously raping and pillaging the spirit of the patent system.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    iThinkIt

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    #8
    made in MS word??? :eek:
     
  9. macrumors 603

    bedifferent

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    #9
    When should we expect "MacRumors" to became "PatentRumors" (or "PatentWars", I like that one)?
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

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  11. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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    Don't see why there's a notion to funding towards charity. Why? Doesn't make sense or have anything to do with the case.
     
  12. macrumors 603

    bedifferent

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    #12
    MS Paint ;)
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Squilly

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  14. macrumors 603

    bedifferent

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  15. macrumors 65816

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    These guys are the exact reason everyone hates patent trolls.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

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  17. macrumors member

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    I'm sure I'm missing something but to me it reads like TMSOFT received pro bono funding to fight Lodsys in court. And instead of seeing it through and putting an end to it for all the developers being threatened and bullied by Lodsys they took the easy way out. Only really benefiting themselves. Leaving all the other dev's once again as fair game?
     
  18. macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #18
    Only Comic Sans can make it worse....

    [​IMG]

    <shudders> :D

    My secret... It's out.... :(
     
  19. macrumors 603

    bedifferent

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    Working on his new app, "Slice of Life"
     

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  20. macrumors 6502

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    Thanks for the mention in the article. Didn't expect that. I just tweeted MacRumors to see if they'd look into it and find out if Lodsys finally dropped their claims against small developers. :cool:

    As for the contribution to charity, I'm not at all a lawyer, but I suspect if the developer didn't accept that condition, they'd be deemed to be unreasonable. Then Lodsys might have tried to continue their case, saying, "Your Honor. We tried to create a reasonable settlement, but the defendant isn't acting in good faith." Or something along those lines. :confused:

    Regardless, I'm glad to see this happen and hope this extends to the whole host of other developers that have been affected by this.

    :cool:

    --DotComCTO
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Bonte

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    #21
    $190,000 even before it headed to trial

    There is definitely something wrong in the VS :eek:
     
  22. macrumors 68020

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    #22
    Sorry, but I think you should have "taken it to the mattresses." These guys wouldn't have blinked if they didn't fear going to court. It's time for someone to take these guys down. Seemed like you had a good chance.

    ----------

    Cool your heels. I work for a US law firm, and we have an office in Brussels. Those lawyers are raking it in, also.

    I won't even go into the ridiculous employment rules for Belgium...
     
  23. macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Anyone notice the "Logo Creator 5" stock logo they used?

    Apparently they have no imagination either. The logo they used is from a sample copied straight out of "Logo Creator 5" from laughingbird software.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    Rocketman

    #24
    He (or his benefactor) could transfer his lawsuit IP to other defendants to fight the validity of the patents themselves.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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