Lodsys Targets Disney's 'Where's My Water?' and Others in New Round of Lawsuits Over In-App Purchasing

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    For nearly two years, we've been following the saga of patent troll Lodsys, which has been demanding licenses from and filing lawsuits against developers over in-app purchasing and related functionalities in their apps.

    Apple quickly stepped in on behalf of iOS developers when the situation first arose in May 2011, claiming that its existing license with Lodsys covered developers using iOS development tools, and nearly a year ago Apple was granted limited permission to intervene in lawsuits filed against developers by Lodsys. While Lodsys initially focused on small developers, it did expand its scope to take on gaming heavyweights such as EA, Rovio, and Atari.

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    News has been relatively quiet on the Lodsys front for the past year, although the firm did announce last October that a key claim of one of its patents had been upheld following reexamination and tout that it was achieving significant licensing momentum with over 150 companies already signed up to license some or all of the firm's four patents. Many of these firms are small developers who likely felt that taking out a license was a safer solution than trying to fight a lawsuit against Lodsys.

    We've heard that Lodsys has continued to send out notices to app developers over the last few months, and yesterday the firm took on another big name in the industry by filing suit against Disney. As with many of the firm's other lawsuits, Lodsys is citing its '565 and '078 patents in alleging that Disney's apps, including the popular Where's My Water?, contain infringing functionality.
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    The lawsuit against Disney is just one of ten filed against app developers by Lodsys over the past several days, with other targets including major iOS developer Gameloft and Paper Toss and DragonVale developer Backflip Studios. Also targeted is TLA Systems, which consists of PCalc developer James Thomson, who was among the first to speak up about threats by Lodsys nearly two years ago.

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    Lodsys now touts that over 200 companies hold for its patents, and it seems to be ramping up efforts to expand that number even further, using new lawsuits to pressure developers who have declined to enter into licensing agreements so far.

    Lodsys is targeting not only app developers with its efforts, but also other companies such as major retailers Nordstrom, Burberry, and Godiva. In recent months, Lodsys has filed additional lawsuits against other companies including SanDisk, Volkswagen, Crocs, Dr Pepper Snapple, General Motors, and HP, demonstrating the broad range of companies being targeted by the effort.

    It is currently unclear exactly where things stand with Apple's efforts to defend its developers from threats by Lodsys, but Lodsys has clearly been emboldened by its licensing and patent challenge successes and is continuing to take aggressive steps to capitalize on its patent holdings.

    Article Link: Lodsys Targets Disney's 'Where's My Water?' and Others in New Round of Lawsuits Over In-App Purchasing
     
  2. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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  3. macrumors 6502

    Rudy69

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    #3
    That's AWESOME! Finally they have bitten more then they can chew. I hope Disney will put these trolls out of business. They're really hurting indie developers :/
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    BJMRamage

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  5. macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Disney are no stranger to the courtroom. This should be interesting now!
     
  6. macrumors 603

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    #6
    They've targeted big companies before this. I really hope Disney can end this farce, but I wouldn't expect a happy resolution anytime soon.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    lifeinhd

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    I love how Lodsys is described in the article-- on a site known for its objectivity-- as being a "patent troll." No shame whatsoever :D
     
  8. macrumors regular

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  9. macrumors 65816

    Mousse

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    #9
    I'm rooting for Lodsys on this one. I hope the win and in-app purchasing dies because no one wants to license it.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Serelus

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    Till this day, I do not understand how Patent Trolling is not illegal in the united states, how about simply forbidding these kind of practices? If you're not planning on contributing to the product, you don't get the patent. If you plan on contributing to that product but you haven't done so for at least 5 years.. your patents are revoked, simple as that... WHY this is still a problem in the US is beyond me.
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    #11
    When will this annoying pest of a "company" just go away.
     
  12. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

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    #12
    LOL! Because level packs are a huge deal when it comes to IAP? Not that Disney doesn't do the typical coin money grab in its Gardens of Time game, but you CAN'T fight over something innocent as Where's My Water? The level packs are GREAT, and they add cool new gameplay.
     
  13. macrumors demi-god

    DirtySocks85

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    #13
    I think either of these quotes sum this up rather well:

    "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." - Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Tora! Tora! Tora!

    "I've made a huge mistake" - Arrested Development

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    Well, it would be a different story if Lodsys were legally fighting Apple on this, but they aren't. They "licensed" the patent to Apple, and then turned around and starting filing lawsuits against all of the developers that were using the Apple license. This reeks of planned malevolence from the start.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    DipDog3

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    #14
    Wait, what does Lodsys produce... besides lawsuits?
     
  15. AlphaHumanus, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2013

    macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Because this is America. Go take a look at that damn Monsanto bill that just passed.


    You know how many games/much content I wouldn't have access to if it wasn't for IAP and the "Freemium" model?

    A La Carte FTW.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    HiVolt

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    #16
    In a way, I agree... I hate in app purchases... Too many apps try to milk extra money for extra features that should just be a part of the app... Even paid apps...

    And don't get me started on these "freemium" games... Some are impossible to play or take forever to play unless you buy coins or other garbage to be able to progress...
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    lifeinhd

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    #17
    Actually, according to their own Web site... nothing.
     
  18. Cougarcat, Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

    macrumors 603

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    #18
    Whether or not you like in-app purchasing should be irrelevant. Patent trolls are bad regardless, and should never be rewarded.


    Monsanto makes Lodsys and EA look like a bunch of fairies.
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    Popeye206

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    #19
    These guys are the king of patent trolls. Companies like this should be shut down.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    mr.steevo

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    #20
    This story effects me in no way as I'm not a developer and don't download Apps. At the same time it irritates me all get out.
     
  21. macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    #21
    We can generalize this further: trolls are bad and should never be rewarded.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    DipDog3

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  23. macrumors 65816

    lifeinhd

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    #23
    Exactly what reward would they be getting in that particular case? They get their patents, we lose IAP, they can't keep up their revenue stream, they die. Sounds like a win-win to me.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    SirithX

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    #24
    Except this loophole in patent law won't be fixed, thus allowing more "companies" to terrorize small developers in the future over many more trivial patents.
     
  25. macrumors 68040

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    #25
    These guys needs to be sued out of existence.
     

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