Lodsys Offers Update on In App Purchase Patent Dispute, Claims Licensing Momentum

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Nearly a year and a half ago, patent holding firm Lodsys threatened to file suit against App Store developers making use of Apple's In App Purchase mechanism, claiming that they were infringing upon patents held by Lodsys.

    Apple stepped in to protect developers, ultimately filing a motion to intervene in the lawsuits being pursued by Lodsys against developers who were unwilling to license the patents in question. Earlier this year, Apple was granted limited permission to intervene in the case to the extent that it could seek to demonstrate that its existing license with Lodsys covers developers' usage of In App Purchase.

    There has been relatively little news on the Lodsys situation over the past six months, but Lodsys today published a blog post providing a status update. According to Lodsys, the U.S. Patent and Trademark has upheld the validity of a key claim of one of the major patents in question, stymying efforts by Google to have the patent invalidated entirely.
    Lodsys goes on to note that Apple is continuing to press forward with its assertions that patent rights have been exhausted via Apple's license to the patents, thereby protecting developers from Lodsys' actions. Lodsys obviously contests that assertion, and a trial on the issue is scheduled for early 2013.

    In a separate blog post, Lodsys notes that it has gained licensing momentum, now having reached agreements with 150 developers to license the In App Purchase patents, with over 80% of those licenses being obtained without involving litigation.
    Lodsys has taken on companies big and small with its effort, initially focusing primarily on smaller developers but later taking on heavyweights such as Rovio, EA, and Atari. Lodsys' plan has been to provide developers with notices of infringement, giving developers 21 days to obtain a license before filing suit.

    It seems that most developers have elected to simply license the patents rather than incurring the expense and time commitment necessary to fight a lawsuit, but others have not backed down and with the assistance of Apple, Google, and other larger companies have been seeking to hold out against Lodsys.

    Article Link: Lodsys Offers Update on In App Purchase Patent Dispute, Claims Licensing Momentum
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    How, exactly, can the idea of in-app purchases even be patented...?
  3. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    “Licensing momentum” = “extorting small developers, who cannot afford to defend themselves even when they’re right, to share their livelihood with people who contributed nothing.”

    A new frontier in euphemism!
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    The whole Lodsys lawsuit should be thrown out. Apple paid the royalty, developers are using something Apple already paid.
  5. faroZ06, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    faroZ06 macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2009
    I would complain about this being a bogus patent, but I also hate in-app purchases, so it's OK. I don't want to buy a game for $1 then have to buy every @#$%ing level in the game for $2 each.

    Still, the idea of this poop pile (Lodsys) making money in general doesn't sit well with me. Just looking at the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lodsys) makes me wish the entire company would die of lawsuits and extreme debt. They haven't made a single product! All they do is patent troll for money! What poor excuses for human beings! They sue everyone from Apple to HP to Adidas for invalid patents.
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
  7. iGrip macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2010
    When it comes to ripping off Apple, these scum know no shame. But Apple will not sit back and be abused. They will be sorry they ever tried to sleaze their way into Apple's pockets.
  8. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    Quite true. Apple already paid the royalty to cover its app ecosystem. Otherwise, how on earth could SMALL indie developers ever survive (financially) to publish profitable apps in ANY app store (be it Apple's, Google's, Microsoft's, etc) if Lodsys patent insists on extorting hundreds (or thousands?) of dollars from them?

    To be balanced, maybe the Apple-Lodsys agreement *should* have been modified or clarified that the Apple payment covers all developers within the confines of its App Store, in which case Lodsys should then have asked for a higher royalty payment.

    The conversation could have gone like this: (this is just an example)

    Lodsys: "OK Apple, if you insist coverage of the ENTIRE App Store including all your developers that publish apps for it, then it's gonna cost you another so-and-so thousand dollars. Pay up!"

    Apple Exec #1: "Hmmm. They're asking for a quarter million dollars more. Whatcha think Tim?"

    Tim Cook: "A drop in the bucket for us. Go ahead and write them a check. It's worth it in the long run, since all our App Store devs will thank us for covering their butts on this one."
  9. Aspasia macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2011
    Halfway between the Equator and North Pole
    Lodsys is a patent troll. Unsure if they've ever created anything but lawsuits.
  10. shartypants macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2010
  11. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    If Apple really believes that its licenses cover third party developers, it should indemnify all developers who use its in-app purchase APIs and it should take over their defense. Its ecosystem is under attack, it's got the necessary experience in patent litigation and it's got deep enough pockets.
  12. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Lodsys is the main reason our company won't rewrite our proprietary Cad software for iOS. Our attorneys aren't the only ones coming to that conclusion. The iPad's been doing great in sales, but to truly become the computer of the future, Lodsys will have to be destroyed.
  13. Medic311 macrumors 68000


    Jul 30, 2011
    b/c our US Patent Office is under staffed and will approve anything if you ask them enough times.
  14. JuBe macrumors member

    May 28, 2009
  15. Nova Sensei macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2012
    I'd love to know the answer to this question.

    What a ridiculous world we live in.
  16. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    Which will not happen overnight. You know it will takes years, right? And if it ever happens, it will take even many more years of "amended" legislation to refine it, fix loopholes, etc.

    And FINALLY.... define "patent reform". Are we talking about reforming the United States patent laws? Reforming European Union laws on patents? Chinese laws on patents (hahahahahahaha LOLZ)?

    Or might you be implying that the United Nations should be like some Mega-Fascist Entity that is laying down a uniform patent legal code for the entire Planet Earth that all nations should follow internationally? Do people have any idea how many Americans already have extreme distrust/animosity towards the U.N.?
  17. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    They shouldn't have paid it.

    Lodsys shouldn't have gotten a single dime from anyone, anywhere, at any time. The fact that there are ****ing retards running around out there stupid enough to pay this "troll toll" is beyond pathetic. The idiots who have given Lodsys money are only validating Lodsys's behaviour as an acceptable business strategy.

    This company needs to be driven into the ground. Along with every other ****ing company propagating this kind of ********. As far as I'm concerned, nothing good will ever come from giving Lodsys MORE money to "go away for a while".

    Of course, the whole American patent system needs to be burned to the ground. The fact that I, as an indie developer, can sit here and genuinely come up with my own clever approach to a logical problem and be breaking the law and subject to thousands- millions of dollars in lawsuit costs and fees- is so astronomically stupid it makes me **** bricks of fear to even think about it.

    Good job on stifling innovation, though. I can think of no better way to do it then to allow patent trolls like this to roam free.

  18. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I'd love to see a huge movement worldwide if possible, on software patents and invalidating many that are ridiculous/essential for the modern digital era.

    Being able to buy a patent is getting out of hand when you look at this, and Google's portfolio of stuff they bought.

    The whole idea of "prevent others innovating so we can innovate first and make all the money" sickens me.
  19. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    I do find it amusing that in this particular issue with Lodsys, both Apple and Google seem to be on the same team.

    Lodsys certainly must be up to something malicious when rivals like Apple and Google and Microsoft have to join forces to oppose Lodsys. It speaks volumes of Lodsys' intent.
  20. FrizzleFryBen macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Apple isn't being abused, developers are. Apple is protecting the little, medium and big guys from bullies.

    Half of a century overdue!

    Yes, now it seems obvious, but there was a time when we all bought boxed software and visited bullentid boards with our 9.6k modems. In app purchase was once an innovative idea. The key is length of patent terms and renewals...It's all jacked up and NEEDS reformed!
  21. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Just wait until my patent on breathing gets approved. All of you are going to be screwed!

    Everyone can pay now to license this new technology or I'll be forced to sue.
  22. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
    I just sent in my application to the US Patent Office for Patent #726480 "Internet Forum Trolling".

    Once my patent gets approved, I will be forced ask many MacRumors regulars to immediately cease and desist, or my attorney will be sending you all a very big bill. ;)
  23. Windlasher macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    They are not really trying to sue apple. They are trying to get paid TWICE for the same license by bullying small developers.
  24. Serelus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009

    Why can't a court simply notice a company isn't doing anything but leeching of other companies, and therefore close the case entirely.
    It seems like your laws have no room for discretion whatsoever, which sounds very flawed.
  25. Windlasher macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2011
    Apple should throw a few developers at the problem and develop in an house solution, cancel the LODSYS agreement and then LODSYS will be sorry.

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