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Lodsys explains its legal threats: Apple is licensed, iOS developers are not - Page 2

post #41 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

This seems unfair but it really depends on what Apple has licensed. The fact Apple, Google and Microsoft have all paid for a license suggests its a legit patent that isn't with challenging.

If Apple bought a license for themselves rather than for anything running on a device they produce then this company would be right. Just because a developers software runs on an iPhone and is distributed by Apple, there isn't anything between the dev and Apple which means the dev can use apples licenses. What's bad is Apple have potentially urged devs to use something that they new they could be sued over. A statement from Apple is long overdue on this one now.

They are looking for money from Apple. It's Apple's code sold on Apple's Itunes which Apple requires in their developer agreement making this issue dicey in court. A win in court is far from assured. Apple needs to offer a blanket defense outright and perhaps even challenge the patent. They'd certainly get a lot of mileage out of it from a developers perspective and they have the money to do it. Once the developers are pissed off for too long...they simply won't develop. That's bad for Apple and everyone who might be exposed. Another question is why didn't this company sue before now?
post #42 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasslehawf View Post

Apple will have to fix this fast, since it renders their IAP system useless for developers.

Yeah, it's always Apple's fault. Apple has to fix everything. They are soooooo evil.
post #43 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Are you suggesting Apple will make them an un'offerta che non possono rifiutare.

You mean they will buy this lousy company and get their greedy staff fired??
post #44 of 75
Simply more evidence of why patens must go away. Anyone who truly understands both business AND the creative process (together) realize that patents are absolutely a crutch and extremely severe hinderance to our nation and have been for so many decades.
post #45 of 75
I did not think about death threats, but I have imagined a hard-working programmer receiving their letter, and mailing them back a letter with some black powder (will a finely ground black pepper do?)
:-)
post #46 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by synagence View Post

I think this company's got no chance .... its developers using Apples developed and produced solution (API's) for IAP ... dev's cannot use their own home-brewed solution on iOS AppStore .... therefore surely dev's are basically using the code Apple has licensed

Seems like another troll will troll case

Exactly. Who is doing the financial transactions? It's between Apple and the customer and then the money is sent to the developers. If the developers were charging the money, then they might have a case, but as it is now, it's not the developers who licensed or even directly used the patented technology.

I do find it interesting that Apple actually licensed the technology as opposed to getting around it as an obvious idea.
post #47 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

Greedy patent troll.
I doubt Apple will let this happen and am surprised they have no stepped in, yet..

How many times has apple just stepped in ? It's not their style, they will call the appropriate people, have some meetings, decide on the best course of action and then make a press release. These things take time.

... rather than just stepping in, making mistakes and fraking the whole thing up.
post #48 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

Considering developers get a large majority of their information about Apple from the media, this is something that should be addressed publicly. Without any sort of acknowledgement, as far as we know, we are at risk.

Considering developers get authoritative information about Apple, and issues that impact them as developers, directly through the Apple Developer Program, this is not something that should be addressed publicly.
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post #49 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by serkol View Post

I did not think about death threats, but I have imagined a hard-working programmer receiving their letter, and mailing them back a letter with some black powder (will a finely ground black pepper do?)
:-)

Great idea, lets see our choices,

A) Pay the fraction of a percent to the patent holder like Apple, Google., Microsoft etc.
B) Make the argument that you are covered by Apple's license
C) Wait for Apple to make that argument on your behalf, or agree to pay it out of their 30% cut
D) Commit multiple federal felonies and face life in prison over a few pennies

Personally, I think Apple is responsible for this. If they are going to charge 30% for use of their IAP and require developers make it available in certain cases, the 30% should cover the transactions costs. That includes any licenses as well as credit card fees, hosting and bandwidth etc. What the hell is the 30% supposed to be for if it does not cover the expenses?
post #50 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by t2af View Post

How many times has apple just stepped in ? It's not their style, they will call the appropriate people, have some meetings, decide on the best course of action and then make a press release. These things take time.

... rather than just stepping in, making mistakes and fraking the whole thing up.

Yep exactly. That's exactly how apple should handle it. Have all their ducks in a row before they speak. Usually when Steve speaks off the cuff it turns into a PR nightmare.
post #51 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylack View Post

Software and gene patents are bs.

Just wish China and India would give the US the middle finger and blatantly disregard all these patents.

If you can't make a physical product out of your ideas it should not be patentable. We all pay the costs for these patent trolls' greed.

All companies that do business in China and India have to submit all of their intellectual property for review under patent application in those countries - just like they do in the US - in spite of having existing patents in the US.
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post #52 of 75
This makes no sense. Why would Apple take out a license, it it didn't cover the actual usage of the OS to facilitate in app purchases?
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylack View Post

Software and gene patents are bs.

Just wish China and India would give the US the middle finger and blatantly disregard all these patents.

If you can't make a physical product out of your ideas it should not be patentable. We all pay the costs for these patent trolls' greed.

Now you may have a sophisticated, unstated understanding of the differences between patents, copyrights and trademarks - all forms of intellectual property (IP) - and full disclosure, sometimes the evolving boundary twixt 'em confuses me - since the patent system's two centuries ago design never anticipated the digital world, and so has been groping - but otherwise you could be construed as advocating that OS X, Windows, iWork, Office, Photoshop, etc. be freely copyable and sold by anyone at any price. Tho' I agree that some of what receives a patent seems dodgy to ridiculous - as well as some of what doesn't seeming on the surface to have a stronger claim than some of what does.

(PS: All of these products already are readily available in bootlegged versions in China which has a well-documented history of blatant disregard about enforcing IP rights for products from other countries. I'm less certain about India's attitude and policies about this. However, for that matter, the last time I was in NYC's SOHO district, I was offered discs with Office, Photoshop and Win Vista for about $10-20 - and there were multiple street "vendors" to pick from with all kinds of combos of programs. And of course movies, music, games, etc., but the particular area I was in was more about software.)

I'm not about to research it all out at the moment, but as I recall most program code is protected by copyright rather than by patent, and as for whether you'd call a bit-streamed download "of Photoshop a physical product," I'm not sure. But I am sure that the millions or billions spent developing and refining these products over the years has to have some legal protection - tho' there will always be some IP theft around the edges - or corporations like Apple could never exist.

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post #54 of 75
Software patents must die. All off them.
post #55 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by tasslehawf
Apple will have to fix this fast, since it renders their IAP system useless for developers.

Yeah, it's always Apple's fault. Apple has to fix everything. They are soooooo evil.

WTH? I am a small iOS developer and this concerns me.
post #56 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quevar View Post

Exactly. Who is doing the financial transactions? It's between Apple and the customer and then the money is sent to the developers. If the developers were charging the money, then they might have a case, but as it is now, it's not the developers who licensed or even directly used the patented technology.

I do find it interesting that Apple actually licensed the technology as opposed to getting around it as an obvious idea.

The patents more about app functionality rather than actually taking the payment isn't it. Its also an all produced by the dev not Apple. Eben if it uses functionality provided by Apple its still not their app and not their responsibility, that would be like saying the credit card company was responsible as they take the payment for apple. The dev has also agreed in their contract with apple that they will take responsability for any legal action involving their app.
post #57 of 75
For everyone speculating that Apple's license should cover its application vendors, here's what the Lodsys blog entry says:


Quote:
Q: I developed on Apple iOS (or other platform), why isn’t Apple (or other OS vendor) responsible, or taking care of this issue?
05/15/2011

The scope of their current licenses does NOT enable them to provide “pixie dust” to bless another (3rd party) business applications. The value of the customer relationship is between the Application vendor of record and the paying customer, the OS (is acting as an enabler) and the retailers (are acting as a conduit to connect that value), and taking their % for that middleman role.

One blogger suggested that an OS or device vendor or retailer could choose to contact Lodsys and purchase a license on behalf of its application ecosystem, but so far such discussions haven’t taken place. From Lodsys’ perspective, it is seeking to be paid value for rights it holds and which are being used by others. Economically, the best return is probably to license each Application vendor for a piece of value, rather than to include in a “buyout” for an OS vendor.

So they're very explicitly claiming that the license Apple holds is for Apple apps only, and that license in no way grants users of Apple's iOS API automatic rights to the contested processes.

They go on to imply that they wouldn't be interested in Apple doing some kind of blanket buyout of those rights since they can make more money charging each developer individually.

My guess is that Apple wouldn't consider a blanket buyout anyway, since it would open them to blackmail via anyone threatening iOS devs with litigation-- they couldn't very well step in in this case and leave the next group hanging. Simply covering the costs is out for the same reason.

I disagree that by licensing from Lodsys Apple has legitimatized their legal action-- they can argue that their license does extend to their developers, Lodsys' claims notwithstanding.

Or they can argue something else, it some ways it doesn't matter. Apple is huge, Lodsys is tiny, and keeping their iOS developers free from being jacked up by every patent troll out their is critical to Apple's business. Therefore, I would think the most likely outcome is that Apple will deploy a flotilla of expensive lawyers and make this little adventure into an extremely costly proposition for Lodsys-- much more expensive than whatever return they hoped to realize on their licensing scheme. That also sends a message to anyone with a similar plan waiting in the wings-- you go after Apple's devs at your own peril, but you are in effect going after Apple.

I doubt that Apple would be even interested in a settlement, since that still leaves the door open for further mischief. I think they'll go balls to the wall on this one, and mount an "either withdraw or be countersued out of existence" type defense.
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post #58 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Apple [...] keeping their iOS developers free from being jacked up by every patent troll out their is critical to Apple's business.

Seconded.
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post #59 of 75
maybe Apple didn't read the EULA when they licensed LODSYS.

I've had this happen to ME before, but it's kind of like when dealing with some shady car repair companies; "Oh, well sure, you paid for us to fix your engine -- but you didn't tell us you wanted the engine bolted to the car when we were done."

>> You kind of figure, that the "repair" makes for a complete car, such that you can drive it away. Apple probably THOUGHT they spent BIG BUCKS to allow in-app updates and purchases. They ALREADY could update their own products.

Maybe, the lawyers read their own licensing arrangement, and waited for a bunch of developers to start using the system -- THEN, they pointed out that the agreement fails to specify that the ENGINE IS PART OF THE CAR!

Oh joy, so now Apple has to re-nogotiate AFTER the fact, or just pay a blanket fee for each and every developer using the system. At this point, you find it was cheaper to reverse engineer and implement your OWN system, rather than license.

>> anyway, that's just a guess at what might have happened.... who knows. Maybe some "kewl" feature is worthy of $3 Trillion MORE than the entire App Store.
post #60 of 75
They go on to imply that they wouldn't be interested in Apple doing some kind of blanket buyout of those rights since they can make more money charging each developer individually.

They OF COURSE would make more money this way.

But in the REAL WORLD, developers are NOT going to buy each and every "feature" of a platform ad hoc.

>> The idea that Apple thought it was just buying for itself, or that developers would go with an "al a carte" method to purchase features is crazy.

To me, this is the licensing equivalent of "Bait and switch." If this is really what they are doing, I hope a judge just invalidates their right to license and makes it all open source.
post #61 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargatesg1 View Post

I think Patents are useless unless you are going to use them and develop a actual product. Some company can patent a special button that opens a pop-up with special information in it.

Technology Patents should expire like domains. Every year you have to renew your patent and pay good money to do so. That way you can determine that this Patent is not a fictional product or item.

Correct me if I'm wrong... I'm 63 years old and it seems I remember that you once had to make a working prototype to get a patent. When did that change?
post #62 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squarepants View Post

The sooner legislation is brought in to eradicate these trolls the better. The only people gaining from these activities are the lawyers while everyone else is being screwed!

I hear you and agree, but realize that as the Tea Party lobbies against "intrusive" government, this is the type of "intrusion" they are doing all they can to prevent/shut down. The American public needs to decide once and for all which they want; an end to companies abusing them or smaller government. They're mutually exclusive.
post #63 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

Land? Let's fix the analogy...

I have a hotel and buy a certain sliding glass door, and it turns out that the company that makes the door DID license the sliding door technology, but Lodsys decides they really only meant that the door company can run the door to test it at the factory and that every hotel that uses the sliding doors now is infringing and should be sued.

OK, that's a bit closer. So... does it work that way in real life or not? Would someone sue every customer that bought a car if they felt that the manufacturer didn't license something correctly, or would they sue the manufacturer? I mean, I can be using that car as a taxi and making money... so am _I_ getting sued because the far meter that's installed violates a patent? I'm guessing no, but I'm not an attorney. Or troll.

Why do people always think analogies are useful, and that they can come up with a better one?
post #64 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancho View Post

Considering developers get authoritative information about Apple, and issues that impact them as developers, directly through the Apple Developer Program, this is not something that should be addressed publicly.

The information regarding news and events similar to this given through the developers program is very limited, and if it was announced there, it would be sufficient for current developers. However, this also effects more then current developers, but also people who are teetering on the idea of developing for iOS and the developers program's image, something that is very valuable to Apple.
post #65 of 75
What twisted logic. What it is called you miserable patent trolls is "double dipping"!!!!!! Scum.
post #66 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Agreed.
By paying the licensing fee Apple effectively validated the patent claims

This is assuming that Apple has actually licensed anything (and that their use of In App purchases uses this patent).
post #67 of 75
On the plus side, hopefully this craters Apple's asinine plot to stipulate 3rd party vendors with an outside purchasing method must also use in-app purchasing at an equal or lesser cost to the end user. So now, not only is Apple dictating product pricing through non-Apple channels, but they are now apparently forcing their developers to carve out even more of their profit to license this tech.
post #68 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

The problem is that it doesn't matter if its defensible or not.
The small devs are still required to respond, which means time and money, no matter how seemingly trivial. For a one-person shop, this kind of thing can be a business killer.
Apple really does need to step up and offer a blanket defense fund or resource for their developers.

How long does it take to write and post a letter that says "F OFF"?

I'm sure that as a business you could bill them for that therefore the more people send these trolls bills for legal council they will stop this ridiculous suing.

I would start the bill at an hourly rate of $1000 and add expenses. Then if these trolls refuse to pay up I would send the credit agents to enforce a payment from them.

Once these idiots see they're getting screwed they may just stop screwing everyone else.
post #69 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

The information regarding news and events similar to this given through the developers program is very limited, and if it was announced there, it would be sufficient for current developers. However, this also effects more then current developers, but also people who are teetering on the idea of developing for iOS and the developers program's image, something that is very valuable to Apple.

Apple is not a foolish company. They are well versed in legal matters and will deal with this in their own way. Until they've taken the time to sort it out, any statements just bring *more* attention to Lodsys and lend the issue more credence than it currently merits. Apple is not in the business of providing free advertising for patent trolls.
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post #70 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobodyy View Post

Considering developers get a large majority of their information about Apple from the media, this is something that should be addressed publicly. Without any sort of acknowledgement, as far as we know, we are at risk.

There is a mechanism for Apple to communicate directly with the developers of currently available Apps in the App Store. They don't have to use the media.

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post #71 of 75
Interesting that no one has mentioned... MAGAZINES. Lodsys is testing the waters by squeezing the balls of small developers. But they've seen magazines now with in-app subscriptions and in-app purchases, on top of Smurf Village in-app kind of stuff.

If small developers cave the next target is magazines... Or maybe those companies are too big for Lodsys to mess with. Maybe Lodsys is using the small developers to set a precedent then go for the bigger fish.
post #72 of 75
First, those who scream "patent troll" should be silenced. Now we know it is a valid patent (Apple agreed to that, as well as Google and MS). So not all patents are nonsense.

The real question is the language of the licensing agreement.
post #73 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by synagence View Post

I think this company's got no chance .... its developers using Apples developed and produced solution (API's) for IAP ... dev's cannot use their own home-brewed solution on iOS AppStore .... therefore surely dev's are basically using the code Apple has licensed

Seems like another troll will troll case

Apple can't really license the tech and turn around and license it to whomever they want if the terms of the license don't provide for it.

Thats like saying you purchased a license for software, thus you can turn around and make copies of it since you have a valid license. Your license doesn't provide for that, so you cant do it.

I fully support this suit only because it shows the ridiculousness of software patents as a whole. They aren't new "tech" in the way inventions are. They are just leveraging existing tech in a new application. Though it is technically patentable, I don't think it adds any value to society and we shouldn't be protecting these things.

Development costs of new software aren't nearly on the same scale as say developing a new drug, so theres really no real value to be had from giving a developer a 10 year monopoly on a specific feature that they came up with.

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post #74 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Yeah, it's always Apple's fault. Apple has to fix everything. They are soooooo evil.

No, apple needs to fix this because it could open the floodgate on their developers. These developers are using the SAME process that Apple already licensed from this company. They're using the provided IAP process that Apple provides. If Apple doesn't get involved here, it could open up developers to other pointless lawsuits and make the App store (or any app store on any device) increasingly expensive to develop for, which will push out small time developers.

So yes, Apple NEEDS to step in here. I'd argue that Apple, Google, RIM, Microsoft, and anyone else with a mobile app store needs to step in here and shoot this crap down.

If an app store licenses a patent and puts it into a developer API for their products, that license needs to cover all legal uses of that API on their platform. This troll company trying to "double dip" is wrong. Just like when the RIAA wanted Verizon/ATT to pay "performance" royalties on top of the royalties they already paid when a customer downloaded a ringtone (legally)
post #75 of 75
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Lodsys explains its legal threats: Apple is licensed, iOS developers are not