Monday, May 16, 2011

Lodsys Says It Is Right To Target And Sue iOS Developers On "in-app" Purchase Button.
Lodsys launched a patent battle against iOS developers over their use of in-app purchases is defending their practice saying that it is protecting and trying to get paid for the innovations.

So what does this patent cover? Aparently if you have a free app with an "upgrade" button to jump from free to full version, you are in the cross hairs. Like Computer LogicX;

"Our app, Mix & Mash, has the common model of a limited free, lite, version and a full version that contains all the features. We were told that the button that users click on to upgrade the app, or rather link to the full version on the app store was in breach of US patent no 7222078," said Computer LogicX's Rob Gloess. "We couldn't believe it, the upgrade button!?!"
But the problem is even if Computer Logix and others want to deal with the problem, they can't due to the iOS development agreement with Apple, developers are forbidden from entering in to a contract with other companies without Apple's explicit permission.
So for now they have contacted Apple.
After all the negative press and the like, through some blog posts, Lodsys brings some convaulted argument saying that it is right to sue, providing following analogy;
"It is the owner of the hotel who is responsible for the overall service (value proposition) that guests pay for, not the owner of the land that the hotel may be leasing, not the travel agent that sold the reservation, not the manufacturer of tools such as hammers, nor the provider of materials such as nails or steel beams, which may be used in building the hotel; nor is it the outsourced linen washing service or the architect of the building who is responsible," Lodsys wrote on its blog. "Lodsys' patent portfolio is being used as a part of an overall solution and we are seeking to be paid for the use of patent rights by the accountable party."
That’s like saying a hotel owner should pay royalties based on a patent for hammers used in the construction of the hotel, according to Tidbits.
While I dislike patent trolls, I have no legal knowledge of any of these things. Hope Apple's legal team not be cowards in this end.


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