The Lodsys Issue Is Bigger Than We Know

This is not good.

Apparently no one looked at the extent of what Lodsys claims its patents cover. This is a lot!

The inventions described by these patents are used by companies to interact with users of their products and services to, among other things:

  • provide online help, customer support, and tutorials
  • conduct online subscription renewals
  • provide for online purchasing of consumable supplies
  • survey users for their impressions of their products and services
  • assist customers to customize their products and services
  • display interactive online advertisements
  • collect information on how users actually use their products and services
  • sell upgrades or complimentary products
  • maintain products by providing users notice of available updates and assisting in the installation of those updates.
  • I wonder how many other companies have had to pay up? I wonder how long that list is — and how much bigger it’s going to get. It seems to me this is a landmine everyone can step on.

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    7 Comments

    Filed under Android, Apple: The Company, Digital Overthrow, Friction, Google, iOS, Marketing, webOS

    7 responses to “The Lodsys Issue Is Bigger Than We Know

    1. Wouldn’t Apple be the primary target here?

      • mikecane

        Nope. At their blog, they explain that they have Apple, Google, and Microsoft as patent licensees. Those licenses do not extend downstream to their developers, however. See just how bad this is getting now? I wonder about HP with webOS, I also wonder if Amazon has been a license holder all this time too. It seems they’d need to be for Buy buttons inside Kindle books.

    2. Ted T.

      You are assuming they aren’t lying through their teeth about these licenses.

      It seems too stupid for someone like Apple to agree to a license that doesn’t in turn cover their developers. Apple didn’t get to where they are by being stupid.

      • mikecane

        If I’m not altogether retarded at math, I think the license fee is a half percent of sales. Apple could have easily taken that out of the 30% they get from sales and covered all developers. Apparently they did not, hence the notices being sent out to surprised devs.

    3. Shock Me

      I hate how Patent Law is used to impede innovation when it was intended to foster it. As a practical matter, it sounds as if this person should consider a more inclusive license for Apple if they ever hope to get paid. Going after judgement-proof developers is kinda mental.

    4. James

      As far as I know, the lawyer sending the letter doesn’t actually have to tell the truth.

      By Lodsys’s interpretation of Apple’s license, 3rd party developers are not covered. That may or may not be true but you can’t trust the patent troll to tell the truth in their shake-down letters.

    5. David b.

      Apple licensed the capability for their operating system. The operating system supplies these services to the Apps. What’s so funny is that apps are not allowed to implement in- app purchases–they must allow apple to do it through an operating system capability. The apps do not contain these services at all ( unless violating apples lic. Agreement) Who knew apple was partially protecting app developers when they were told they had to use the services. Apple will step forward soon by sueing lodesys. Otherwise Apple will be facing developer lawsuits and a broken ecosystem. I’m sure lodsys has approached apple for a cut, because they regret buying a patent that has already been licensed to the most successful app store in the world but they are not getting a per- transaction payment , probably getting a per iOS device payment that really sucks. This is just harassment.

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