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Apple's legal department 'actively investigating' Lodsys threats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Apple is not idly standing by as patent holder Lodsys has sent legal threats to members of its iOS development community, according to a new report.

Apple is not expected to respond to the claims until later this week, according to The Guardian. It also revealed that about a dozen total iOS developers have been issued the legal threats from Lodsys.

According to the report, Apple's legal department is "actively investigating" the claims made by Lodsys. The patent owner seeks payment from developers that utilize Apple's in-app payment systems for transactions in iPhone, iPad and iPod touch software available on the App Store.

Lodsys spoke out on the issue this weekend with a series of posts on the company's official website. It revealed that Apple is licensed to offer in-app purchases, but argued that developers must also pay for the right to use Apple's service.

Though no official legal action has been taken, developers began receiving letters from Lodsys last week, accusing them of patent infringement. Those developers were given 21 days to license the technology related to in-app purchases.

Lodsys seeks 0.575 percent of U.S. revenue covering the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable usage. The company noted that would amount to $5,750 per year for an application that makes $1 million in annual sales.



The threats are based on U.S. Patent No. 7222078, entitled "Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Units of a Commodity Across a Network." The patent dates back through continuations to earlier applications as old as 1992 and is credited to Dan Abelow, but is now owned by Lodsys.

Developers are anxiously awaiting Apple's response, as it is the iPhone maker's iOS mobile operating system that includes the built-in tools for in-app purchases. The transaction method debuted in 2009 as part of iOS 3.0, and allows users to purchase additional content or software add-ons from within an iPhone or iPad application, without the need to exit and access the App Store.

Just like traditional App Store purchases, in-app purchases are charged by Apple to a user's iTunes account, connected with a credit card. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all transactions made through the App Store or via in-app purchases.
post #2 of 12
Oh, the sheer irony of the Edison quote on display by Lodsys! I'm sure it's lost on them.
post #3 of 12
Pretty classless to go after the iOS developers directly without trying to work it out with Apple first.
post #4 of 12
The patent abstract: "In an exemplary system, information is received at a central location from different units of a commodity. The information is generated from two-way local interactions between users of the different units of the commodity and a user interface in the different units of the commodity. The interactions elicit from respective users their perceptions of the commodity."

Now, the patent itself throws in everything it can think of in nearly 70 claims, but the patent itself seems to be primarily about a distributed ratings system, and not about a system of in-application purchases and upgrades.

As such, Apple would seem to have a good chance at getting it tossed out as not being applicable.

Regardless, Apple needs to throw a "pro bono" million-dollar legal defense team at each case and drown the suckers in legal fees, and then hit the "company" with it's own lawsuit. (Notice, however, how each "company" was setup simply to engage in a lawsuit. No assets.)

This kind of thing needs to get slapped down, and hard, or otherwise every Troll, Dick, and Harry with a vague patent is going to attempt the same thing.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post


Regardless, Apple needs to throw a "pro bono" million-dollar legal defense team at each case and drown the suckers in legal fees, and then hit the "company" with it's own lawsuit. (Notice, however, how each "company" was setup simply to engage in a lawsuit. No assets.)

Frankly, I think the FBI should be called in. Using this patent to extort money for in-app purchasing is in my opinion inter-state fraud.
post #6 of 12
Hopefully, the trolls will discover that they're now in breach of contract with Apple and have to give some of the license money back. I can dream.

Somehow, I keep flashing back on this wonderful passage from Douglas Adams. Change the insurance business to patent trolls, and I think Adams had his thumb on something great...

---------------

\t'... The insurance business is completely screwy now. You know they've reintroduced the death penalty for insurance company directors?'
\t'Really?' said Arthur. 'No I didn't. For what offence?'
\tTrillian frowned.
\t'What do you mean, offence?'
\t'I see.'

-Mostly Harmless
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Regardless, Apple needs to throw a "pro bono" million-dollar legal defense team at each case and drown the suckers in legal fees, and then hit the "company" with it's own lawsuit. (Notice, however, how each "company" was setup simply to engage in a lawsuit. No assets.)

This kind of thing needs to get slapped down, and hard, or otherwise every Troll, Dick, and Harry with a vague patent is going to attempt the same thing.

It is funny that you used the word "slapped", because the type of action you propose for Apple is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, aka a SLAPP suit. I believe that type of suit is illegal in some states.
post #8 of 12
LeachSys

"We've never created value in our lives"


In other news, Edison is working on a technique for rolling in his grave.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

Reply
post #9 of 12
Well, Apple could always renegotiate their license agreement to include any and all in-app purchase usage by developers AND they could make it exclusive to Apple. Or they could simply buy out their patent portfolio. In other words, cut Apple's competition off at the knees.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

The patent abstract: "In an exemplary system, information is received at a central location from different units of a commodity. The information is generated from two-way local interactions between users of the different units of the commodity and a user interface in the different units of the commodity. The interactions elicit from respective users their perceptions of the commodity."

Now, the patent itself throws in everything it can think of in nearly 70 claims, but the patent itself seems to be primarily about a distributed ratings system, and not about a system of in-application purchases and upgrades.

As such, Apple would seem to have a good chance at getting it tossed out as not being applicable.

Regardless, Apple needs to throw a "pro bono" million-dollar legal defense team at each case and drown the suckers in legal fees, and then hit the "company" with it's own lawsuit. (Notice, however, how each "company" was setup simply to engage in a lawsuit. No assets.)

This kind of thing needs to get slapped down, and hard, or otherwise every Troll, Dick, and Harry with a vague patent is going to attempt the same thing.

Not only do I NOT know what to make of the description of the patent -- I seriously cannot figure out what I could make WITH the patent. We've gone from a generic all-incompassing description, to a totally USELESS widget that is painfully vague.

Do they say what they mean by a "commodity" -- or are they going after the Stock Exchange next?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnst View Post

Oh, the sheer irony of the Edison quote on display by Lodsys! I'm sure it's lost on them.

Glad I'm not the only one that noticed that.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Glad I'm not the only one that noticed that.

where's the quote ??
thank you

bruce


9
whats in a name ? 
beatles
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whats in a name ? 
beatles
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