or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Lodsys files suit against iOS developers over in-app purchases
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Lodsys files suit against iOS developers over in-app purchases

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Lodsys filed a patent infringement lawsuit on Tuesday against several iOS developers, making good on its threat to pursue legal action over the use of technology related to in-app purchasing.

The suit was filed with the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a district known for providing a favorable outcome for patent holders, Florian Mueller reports. Though iOS developers were the main targets of the suit, one Android developer was also listed in the filing.

Early this month, Lodsys sent legal complaints to a number of iOS developers accusing them of patent infringement. The letter gave the developers 21 days to license the company's in-app purchasing technology.

Lodsys' claim centers mainly around U.S. Patent No. 7222078, entitled ""Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Units of a Commodity Across a Network." Though Apple has licensed the technology, Lodsys asserts that third-party developers aren't covered under that license.

After Apple's legal department actively investigated the infringement claims, the Cupertino, Calif., company sent a formal letter to Lodsys asking it to cease its legal threats against iOS developers. "Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license," Bruce Sewell, Apple's senior vice president and general counsel, wrote in the letter.



Lodsys noted Tuesday on its official blog that it "chose to move its litigation timing to an earlier date than originally planned, in response to Apple's threat, in order to preserve its legal options." The company has also offered a $1,000 payment to iOS developers if it turns out that Apple's existing license rights apply to app developers. However, Lodsys continues to dispute Apple's claim and has sent a "detailed legal position on the license interpretation issue" to the iPhone maker.
post #2 of 42
Guess it's time now to see if Apple (and Google) will step in with more than a letter. I certainly expect them to. It did surprise me that Lodsys didn't drop the whole thing tho.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #3 of 42
The most obnoxious thing about this (and there are several aspects from which to choose) is that Lodsys on its home page has this quote:

"I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work."

That's interesting, given that Lodsys didn't do any work at all. They are a troll that let iOS developers and Apple do all the work, then jump in trying to scrape profit off the work of others.
post #4 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

The most obnoxious thing about this (and there are several aspects from which to choose) is that Lodsys on its home page has this quote:

"I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work."

That's interesting, given that Lodsys didn't do any work at all. They are a troll that let iOS developers and Apple do all the work, then jump in trying to scrape profit off the work of others.

Not to mention- they didn't even design the patent in question- they bought it.

Given Apple's legal response- there is no doubt they are going to countersue Lodsys.

Did Google ever even respond?
post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

Not to mention- they didn't even design the patent in question- they bought it.

Given Apple's legal response- there is no doubt they are going to countersue Lodsys.

Did Google ever even respond?


Not that I've seen. But it's only been just a few days since the first Android developers got dragged in. At least they should have had a heads-up that it probably was coming.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #6 of 42
I see this failing like nobody's business, not because of anything to do with patents, but because they made the agreement that developers had 21 days to comply, then they broke their own (verbal, effectively) contract by filing early. That's got to be illegal on some level.
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

I see this failing like nobody's business, not because of anything to do with patents, but because they made the agreement that developers had 21 days to comply, then they broke their own (verbal, effectively) contract by filing early. That's got to be illegal on some level.

I don't think the 21 days warning has any importance. What's important on their side now is their ability to prove that the developers are not covered by the licensing agreement.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I don't think the 21 days warning has any importance. What's important on their side now is their ability to prove that the developers are not covered by the licensing agreement.

I'd be very surprised to learn that both Apple and Google signed the licensing agreement with eyes closed. Something very fishy here...
na na na na na...
Reply
na na na na na...
Reply
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I'd be very surprised to learn that both Apple and Google signed the licensing agreement with eyes closed. Something very fishy here...

Apple, especially since they are requiring their developers to build it in if they sell a product. Developing for Android is looking better, at least in-app purchasing isn't required.

Either way, the results of these lawsuits will either forever change the way licensing agreements work. Hopefully, it's to our advantage.
post #10 of 42
lodysys better come to the table with some deep pockets.

with a little luck, this can turn out to be a 'mercy killing' (figure of speech) for apple. time to end these texas jokester legal rulings.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Not that I've seen. But it's only been just a few days since the first Android developers got dragged in. At least they should have had a heads-up that it probably was coming.

I have yet to see google handle anything legally with any competency... google TV, cloud, etc. So I would expect android devs to get pwn3d more than they already are.
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezduzit View Post

lodysys better come to the table with some deep pockets.

with a little luck, this can turn out to be a 'mercy killing' (figure of speech) for apple. time to end these texas jokester legal rulings.

Unfortunately, these things are not usually settled that easily.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

I see this failing like nobody's business, not because of anything to do with patents, but because they made the agreement that developers had 21 days to comply, then they broke their own (verbal, effectively) contract by filing early. That's got to be illegal on some level.

IANAL, but: While that offer may not have been legally-binding, their breaking of their own pledge will show any court that they're not operating in good faith. As such no judge is going to cut them any breaks as this proceeds.
post #14 of 42
I think that this will be the first in a very long, long line of patent trolls going after small developers..

It won't be just iOS and Android developers either. Think indie XBOX, PS3, Wii developers, RIM developers, etc....

The sky is the limit for these trolls...
post #15 of 42
What is happening if, as a developer i am pushing to the store a free app with in-app purchase option? If the happy owner of that app use in-app purchase button then he should pay its dime, but if nobody click, nobody pays, right? I don't understand Lodsys logic and i don't understand their website content - It is disturbing - no common sense at all.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I think that this will be the first in a very long, long line of patent trolls going after small developers..

It won't be just iOS and Android developers either. Think indie XBOX, PS3, Wii developers, RIM developers, etc....

The sky is the limit for these trolls...

I'm just beginning to design my own apps and these sentiments are very much on my mind.

Apple and Google alike will need to defend the development community while also insuring that future patent licenses extend a proper umbrella over developers big and small. Without such a safety net, the small-time-developer niche (which I suspect is rather large in Apple's case) will begin to decline dramatically.

People will be afraid to publish their ideas.
I'm already getting worried...
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

IANAL, but: While that offer may not have been legally-binding, their breaking of their own pledge will show any court that they're not operating in good faith. As such no judge is going to cut them any breaks as this proceeds.

Did you forget this will be an eastern Texas judge, jury, & executioner!! :
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you."

That from Pulp Fiction is what I think of every time I think about what Apple is going to do to Lodsys.
post #19 of 42
I don't understand how Lodsys can patent such an obvious idea, as in-app purchases ?

This is ridiculous.

Let's see -- I have a free app and I want to make it easy for people to upgrade to the paid app from within the free app. Whoa ! Headrush -- I just independently reinvented in-app purchases ! I'm a genius !

If memory serves me correctly, you can't patent obvious ideas..
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Guess it's time now to see if Apple (and Google) will step in with more than a letter. I certainly expect them to. It did surprise me that Lodsys didn't drop the whole thing tho.

Of course Apple will step it up. The first thing you do before suing anyone is to send the obligatory "cease and desist request". That's what Lodsys and Apple have done, clearing the way for legal action.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljocampo View Post

Did you forget this will be an eastern Texas judge, jury, & executioner!! :

Aka, patent troll paradise.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I'd be very surprised to learn that both Apple and Google signed the licensing agreement with eyes closed. Something very fishy here...

Not eyes closed. Why would they sign patent licensing agreements that didn't cover or indemnify developers using the features they were licensing? I don't think they would, at least not Apple.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #23 of 42
Have you folks looked at that patent? It's 88 pages of pure crap, a bunch of bullshit flow charts describing an idea that is utterly terrible ("hey, I know, why don't we have our <unspecified> product pester its user about their user experience continuously!") but in the middle of all that, out of nowhere is an almost completely unrelated item (page 25) about transactions in the application. The only thing it seems to have to do with the rest of it is that it is also occurring within a single application.

Am I missing something, or is this the most blatant troll ever? I mean usually they're less obfuscated and camouflaged with bullshit.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by EDemerzel View Post

That from Pulp Fiction is what I think of every time I think about what Apple is going to do to Lodsys.

Apple's wallet is the one that says Bad Mother****er on it.

15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

Reply

15" MB Pro Early 2011 (2.0 i7 8GB RAM 240 SSD); ATV 3; iPad 3 (32GB, VZW Black); iPhone 4S (16GB AT&T Black); Airport Extreme (2011)

Reply
post #25 of 42
Texas -- is there anything its good for? Should have let Mexico keep it.
>>< drow ><<
Reply
>>< drow ><<
Reply
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ginolee View Post

I don't understand how Lodsys can patent such an obvious idea, as in-app purchases ?

This is ridiculous.

Let's see -- I have a free app and I want to make it easy for people to upgrade to the paid app from within the free app. Whoa ! Headrush -- I just independently reinvented in-app purchases ! I'm a genius !

If memory serves me correctly, you can't patent obvious ideas..

Keep in mind apple owns the copyright to "apple"....
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Lodsys noted Tuesday on its official blog that it "chose to move its litigation timing to an earlier date than originally planned, in response to Apple's threat, in order to preserve its legal options." The company has also offered a $1,000 payment to iOS developers if it turns out that Apple's existing license rights apply to app developers.

If they really believed they were right, they should have offered $1,000,000.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Aka, patent troll paradise.

You'd be crazy not to give yourself the best shot. Given a choice between a Ferrari and Toyota in a road race, which would you chose? The Toyota, based on some notion of fairness?
post #29 of 42
Hate to tell you this Apple can not get involved legally, they are not named in the lawsuits. Apple can only stand by and watch what happens. Now the developers who are being sued can call Apple as a witness, but can not rely on them for legal support.

It sounds like Lodsys thinks there is a whole in the deal between them and Apple which does not allow Apple to extend its license beyond Apple. Since none of you have seen the licensing or contract between Apple and Lodsys you are all speculating whether Lobsys really has a claim.

This could be a situation whether agreement was too specific or vague which leaves it to interpretation on whether the license agreement extend beyond Apple itself.
post #30 of 42
It seems like Lodsys is "double dipping" as it is receiving money from Apple and now wants it from the developers for the same transaction. It would be like both a seller and buyer paying for sales tax.

Another blessing in disguise might be that Apple requires all purchases to happen "in-app" so a developer has no choice to use an alternate method. Since this is the only way for a developer to have a purchase, then Lodsys should had known this when they licensed the patent to APPLE and part of their due diligence. Lodsys, may actually have some merit with the Android developers, because they are not required to have an in-app purchase method, and therefore do so on their own free will.
post #31 of 42
Apple is in a bind here. If they sit on their a@@ and do nothing, Lodsys will run rampant on the small developers who do not have the money to fight, and they could be in for a mass exodus from developers who will move to a different platform. Apple needs to push their weight around before this gets out of control. If Lodsys wins, they will bring more of these trolls out of the woodwork looking for a free handout.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmccally View Post

Keep in mind apple owns the copyright to "apple"....

...how is that statement even relevant? We are talking patents here and you throw in a copyright comment?

How about the sky is blue, the earth (in parts) is green and the sun rises in the east as well. Relevancy, the new commentary...
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #33 of 42
I'm certainly no lawyer but I wonder if the rush to file has anything to do with this:

http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/23...supporter-says
post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

Hate to tell you this Apple can not get involved legally, they are not named in the lawsuits. Apple can only stand by and watch what happens. Now the developers who are being sued can call Apple as a witness, but can not rely on them for legal support.

It sounds like Lodsys thinks there is a whole in the deal between them and Apple which does not allow Apple to extend its license beyond Apple. Since none of you have seen the licensing or contract between Apple and Lodsys you are all speculating whether Lobsys really has a claim.

This could be a situation whether agreement was too specific or vague which leaves it to interpretation on whether the license agreement extend beyond Apple itself.

They are what's known as "an interested party" and can act on behalf of or in conjuction with the developers. They are too close to the core of the issue to serve as "amicus curiae" providing expertise needed by the court in making its decision. And Lodsys is hoping that a trial by jury will allow them to confuse and misdirect a jury in the matter.
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
If you are going to insist on being an ass, at least demonstrate the intelligence to be a smart one
Reply
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexTechsan View Post

I'm certainly no lawyer but I wonder if the rush to file has anything to do with this:

http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/23...supporter-says

Seems entirely possible. It looks like there was some deadline approaching that moved the timeline.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by magicj View Post

So all Apple is giving to help its developers is talk?

Apple, we need to see some _action_ from you on this. Get in the game and protect your developers.

Up until now, Lodsys hadn't filed lawsuits against any independent developers, they merely threatened them. Apple sending a cease and desist letter was, at the time, the appropriate first step. You never want to be the one to throw the first step. Keep in mind, Apple did do something, something that will become very important when this goes to court: they've established a documented response to Lodsys disputing the patent claim.

However, if you think Apple can do anything to prevent Lodsys from suing anyone, well, they can't, any more than you can stop me from suing my neighbor in court. You can countersue, but you can't stop me filing a lawsuit. If Lodsys wants to take anyone to court, nothing but legal fees stand in the way.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Up until now, Lodsys hadn't filed lawsuits against any independent developers, they merely threatened them. Apple sending a cease and desist letter was, at the time, the appropriate first step. You never want to be the one to throw the first step. Keep in mind, Apple did do something, something that will become very important when this goes to court: they've established a documented response to Lodsys disputing the patent claim.

However, if you think Apple can do anything to prevent Lodsys from suing anyone, well, they can't, any more than you can stop me from suing my neighbor in court. You can countersue, but you can't stop me filing a lawsuit. If Lodsys wants to take anyone to court, nothing but legal fees stand in the way.

However, the defendant can always add other defendants to the suit.
post #38 of 42
AI, if you are listening . . .

A common response to these type stories is asking why do you even cover them. I understand the frustration. I think covering them is good, BUT, you must follow up! There have been hundreds of these lawsuit postings over the years--some important, some not so important. But it is very rare that you ever follow up on them to their conclusion. We get: "Company A files a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple for B reason." Responses are predictable (lawyers suck, the law sucks, Texas sucks, etc.). The most we get from you is maybe a second story saying that "Apple has responded." Then that's it!

It's like a newspaper reporting that the Yankees came to bat and scored a run. Then later another story says Boston responded with one run in the 2nd. Then that's it. No box score, no final result. That's what it's like when you post these stories. Frustrating.

Readers need to get the whole story, not just the start of it.

I'm not saying you have to write a story about the progress or conclusion of each one (but that would be nice), but even a year-end summary of the status or disposition of all of them would be better than nothing.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexTechsan View Post

I'm certainly no lawyer but I wonder if the rush to file has anything to do with this:

http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/23...supporter-says

Looks like you are right!

Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

Reply

Mac Pro Dual 2.8 Quad (2nd gen), 14G Ram, Two DVD-RW Drives, OS X 10.9
Mac Book Pro Core 2 Duo 2.16Ghz, SuperDrive, ATI X1600, 2GB RAM, OS X 10.7
1TB Time Capsule

Reply
post #40 of 42
Anybody want to buy up HP patents so that you can troll companies when new products hit the market and get popular?
http://h20229.www2.hp.com/hpvps/OnlinePatentSales.html

Here's a nice one. Pick any company to troll it with:

Lot W110204-A - Power Management
Lot Description:
The patents in this lot generally relate to switch mode power supplies and computer batteries. In particular, they relate to switch-mode power supply design and optimization as well as battery charging.
Exemplary Patent(s):
Patent, US5907197 generally relates to an implementation of a AC/DC portable power connecting architecture. It enables the computer system to receive external power from both AC and DC.

(To be fair, this patent is probably licensed quite widely)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Lodsys files suit against iOS developers over in-app purchases