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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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lodsys_wordmark.jpg



Last late week, we reported that patent holding firm Lodsys had apparently begun targeting small iOS developers with notices of patent infringement for providing in-app purchase and/or App Store purchase links within their apps. Lodsys was requesting that the developers obtain a license within 21 days or face the prospect of a lawsuit.

Lodsys has finally written publicly about the notices, putting together a blog offering responses to a number of questions about the company's actions. Among the interesting revelations:

- Lodsys is targeting developers not because it is seeking to put pressure on Apple, as Apple has already licensed the intellectual property for use in its own products and services, as have Google and Microsoft. Lodsys states that each developer should be responsible for licensing the technology in individual apps, rather than Apple being responsible for an overarching agreement, making an analogy that a hotel owner rather than the owner of the land beneath the hotel is responsible for all services provided to guests.

- Lodsys' proposed licensing terms equal 0.575% of U.S. revenue for in-app upgrades, with developers also being responsible for past usage.
In the case of an Application doing an in-application upgrade (and only this scenario), Lodsys is seeking 0.575% of US revenue over for the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage. So on an application that sells US$1m worth of sales in a year, the licensee would have an economic exposure of $5,750 per year.
- In addressing claims that the patents being used by Lodsys are overly broad and obvious and should never have been granted in the first place, Lodsys argues that with the patents dating back nearly 20 years, that much hindsight naturally makes such inventions seem obvious.

- The company also seeks to defend its business model as the most efficient way to handle intellectual property licensing for small inventors such as Dan Abelow, who filed the patents in question. While some have criticized Lodsys for pursuing licensing rights for technology it neither invented nor directly uses, the company argues that its existence creates efficiencies that improve the level of innovation, noting that Abelow was able to sell off his rights to the patents in order to focus on new inventions rather than having to focus on the task of licensing. In passing that responsibility off to another entity, each party is able to focus on what they do best and extract value from inventions.

- Finally, Lodsys notes that it has received a significant amount of hate mail and even death threats from a number of parties, apparently even including those developers who have received notice of licensing requirements. Calling the death threats in particular "seriously uncool", Lodsys argues that such behavior doesn't help the situation and that the company, like the developers, is simply trying to sell its products and make a profit.

Article Link: Lodsys Responds to Controversy Over Lawsuit Threats
 

Bluefusion

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2003
257
0
New York, NY
This is utter nonsense.

Apple provides THE SERVICE OF IN-APP PURCHASES. How is that even remotely similar to "the land beneath a hotel"? More like the crew that built the place.

Really hoping Apple does the right thing here and tells them off. There's no reason developers should have to go through this kind of legal idiocy over a technology ALREADY owned by their sales system (in this case, Apple).

Should we conclude from this that Amazon make every individual seller license their "1-Click" technology? Even though they already sell on Amazon?
 
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Frobozz

macrumors demi-god
Jul 24, 2002
1,142
91
South Orange, NJ
Sounds like a lot of rationalization for acting like a pathetic patent troll. The part about "extracting value from a patent" is priceless.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
- In addressing claims that the patents being used by Lodsys are overly broad and obvious and should never have been granted in the first place, Lodsys argues that with the patents dating back nearly 20 years, that much hindsight naturally makes such inventions seem obvious.

Maybe they should stop using loopholes to extend their patent and just let it expire if it is as obvious as it is now. That's why patents are time limited, so that after a certain period of benefit by the inventor, society can start benefiting from the invention in question.

Lodsys needs to let this one go. They have had their time with it.

This is utter nonsense.

Apple provides THE SERVICE OF IN-APP PURCHASES. How is that even remotely similar to "the land beneath a hotel"? More like the crew that built the place.

Really hoping Apple does the right thing here and tells them off. There's no reason developers should have to go through this kind of legal idiocy over a technology ALREADY owned by their sales system (in this case, Apple).

This really isn't about In App Purchase. It's about Apps (especially LITE or DEMOs) offering the user a button to "upgrade" to the full app. When that button is pressed, the user is sent back to the App Store, to the proper page. No IAP required.
 
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Littleodie914

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2004
1,813
7
Rochester, NY
Yea, these guys are scumbags.

Greedy actions imply greedy people. Greedy actions that are defended as "necessary" and "efficient" imply greedy people who are also too cowardly to admit their wrongdoings. :mad:
 
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Frobozz

macrumors demi-god
Jul 24, 2002
1,142
91
South Orange, NJ
This is utter nonsense.

Apple provides THE SERVICE OF IN-APP PURCHASES. How is that even remotely similar to "the land beneath a hotel"? More like the crew that built the place.

Agreed! This is a classic false analogy. It really has absolutely nothing to do with it. To assume the world of software is even remotely close to real estate also gives us insight into the minds behind these patent trolls. Who else would use a property owner / renter analogy to argue for double-licensing developers? Probably people who own a lot of real estate and don't produce anything with their own hands. People like patent trolls.

Lastly-- why do they think they can double license? If Apple has actually paid for the right to in-app purchases as part of their offerings, this DOES cover developers. That's the whole point!
 
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saxofunk

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2006
128
30
Denver, CO
just gave me an idea...

20 years ago? I need to get on writing some really vague patents about robots and computerized cars and other future stuff. If I write enough, some of them have to come true. Then I can sell the rights off to some POS company and let them make all the money off of my ideas. As if small businesses needed any more 'taxes'. They have enough to worry about competing with the big guys.
 
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CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,948
265
SoCal
Now, these guys do seem like a bunch of losers looking for a payday, this line just made me crack up.

Calling the death threats in particular "seriously uncool", Lodsys argues that such behavior doesn't help the situation and that the company, like the developers, is simply trying to sell its products and make a profit.

Yeah, death threats are "seriously uncool" but then again so is being a troll. Not saying that the death threats were justified, just the way it's worded just made me laugh.
 
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kiljoy616

macrumors 68000
Apr 17, 2008
1,795
0
USA
Don't blame the patent trolls for a broken patent system. Could have been fixed long ago but no one has had the political scrotum to do so. So lets enjoy the histrionics its after all so much fun watching as well as paying for it.:(
 
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RodThePlod

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
707
185
London
Lodsys needs to let this one go. They have had their time with it.

Methinks they plan on digging their heels in, though. They stand to make a /lot/ of money if things go their way.

It is, of course, a load of tosh, though! And I hope it gets kicked out of court in due course...

RTP.
 
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NutsNGum

macrumors 68030
Jul 30, 2010
2,856
367
Glasgow, Scotland
"...a hotel owner rather than the owner of the land beneath the hotel is responsible for all services provided to guests."

And the non-sequitur of the month award goes to...
 
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palmerc2

macrumors 68000
Feb 29, 2008
1,621
683
Los Angeles
Let them do it. How much are they going to make off of a free app? The paid version doesn't have an "upgrade" button that links to the App Store. Unless advertisements count.
 
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dustinsc

macrumors regular
Nov 21, 2009
230
52
Don't blame the patent trolls for a broken patent system. Could have been fixed long ago but no one has had the political scrotum to do so. So lets enjoy the histrionics its after all so much fun watching as well as paying for it.:(

+1 The "patent trolls" are just exploiting the system, and some have a legitimate purpose. The system tends to give out broad patents or grant patents to seemingly un-patentable ideas.
 
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dethmaShine

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2010
1,697
0
Into the lungs of Hell
I think, Apple would ultimately have to buy or license this particular patent.

But ever, Lodsys has been a bitch. End of story.

EDIT: I read the full print again. Apple is licensed to this patent but the developers are not. Lets see what happens.
 
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NoNothing

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2003
453
511
I still don't see how in-app purchasing qualifies...

Don't blame the patent trolls for a broken patent system. Could have been fixed long ago but no one has had the political scrotum to do so. So lets enjoy the histrionics its after all so much fun watching as well as paying for it.:(

The patent referenced has nothing to do with in-app purchasing in any way. It deals with user feed bac to questions for quality control.

It would be interesting to see if Apple really does have licensing and to see if they will be going after Android developers now that they have in-app purchasing APIs.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
Let them do it. How much are they going to make off of a free app? The paid version doesn't have an "upgrade" button that links to the App Store. Unless advertisements count.

You haven't read the terms of licensing they are proposing. They would get 0.575% of the sales resulting in the use of the Upgrade button. So sales of the paid app.
 
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Parystec

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2011
55
25
UK
Dazed and confused

I hope this gets resolved as we are planning to put inapp purchases in our next app ? I would be good if apple could offer its developers advice and guidance.:confused:
 
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danielsan26

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2004
126
7
Very nearly expired patents...

If their patents are really almost twenty years old, they're almost expired. Why would anyone agree to license their patent for a period likely beyond the expiration of the patent?

Note to devs...if you do bow to the pressure, make sure you're agreeing to give them $$$ only for the life of the patent.

Or, find a loophole until they expire.
 
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binarymelon

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2007
36
0
Has Apple made a statement regarding this? Could they also sue Lodsys for taking their license fee even though Lodsys did not feel Apply was responsible for paying it?
 
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PinkyMacGodess

Suspended
Mar 7, 2007
7,236
3,641
Midwest America.
Methinks they plan on digging their heels in, though. They stand to make a /lot/ of money if things go their way.

It is, of course, a load of tosh, though! And I hope it gets kicked out of court in due course...

RTP.

Why are they going up against individual entities? Because this 'divide and conquer' tactic makes it easy for them to collect tons of money by going after individual players but it can also cost them a lot of money if the people that they seek to profit (feed) off of fight every case and run up Lodsys's legal costs.

It would seem that the only way around this ******** is to make it as expensive as the people being charged can for these parasites.
 
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KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
Why are they going up against individual entities? Because this 'divide and conquer' tactic makes it easy for them to collect tons of money by going after individual players but it can also cost them a lot of money if the people that they seek to profit (feed) off of fight every case and run up Lodsys's legal costs.

Small time devs wouldn't even be able to afford the costs probably. Lodsys on the other hand probably has lawyers on their payroll that would either litigate this or do nothing at all, being a patent holding company.

So in the end, I really doubt your scenario would help anyone but Lodsys.
 
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