Lodsys Targets Disney, PCalc in New Patent Lawsuits

| News

After several months without any news from Lodsys, the patent holding company is back with a fresh round of lawsuits targeting the likes of The Walt Disney Company, and PCalc maker TLA Systems. Lodsys gained notoriety for its legal threats and lawsuits targeting small iOS and Android OS developers demanding licensing fees for using in-app purchase mechanisms.

Lodsys is back with a fresh round of lawsuits for app developersLodsys is back with a fresh round of lawsuits for app developers

Along with Disney and TLA Systems, the latest round of patent infringement lawsuits from Lodsys target Gameloft, Gameevil, Jirbo, MobileAge, Pocket Gems, Sunstorm Interactive, TMSoft, and Backflip Studios. The cases were all filed in U.S. Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas, which happens to be a favorite venue for patent trolls holders.

Lodsys began threatening legal action against iOS and Android app developers in 2011 over claims that they needed to pay licensing fees if they wanted to offer in-app purchases. Apple's legal team stepped in and sent a letter to Lodsys stating that since it had already paid licensing fees to use the company's in-app purchase patent, and since it was providing the mechanism to make the feature available, that developers didn't need to pay additional licensing fees.

Lodsys disagreed and kept pushing for developers to pay their own licensing fees on top of the money Apple had already paid to the company. Apple later convinced the court to allow its legal team to intervene on behalf of developers.

Other than adding more companies to its growing list of lawsuits, there was little more news out of Lodsys until October 2012 when the International Trade Commission upheld the validity of the company's in-app purchase patent.

As of now, Lodsys claims more than 200 companies have licensed its patents. While the company doesn't say, many of those licensees could be small app development companies that can't afford risking a long and lengthy lawsuit.

Apple isn't commenting on the earlier lawsuits or the just filed cases.

[Thanks to Mac Rumors for the heads up]

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Apple pays to license the in-app purchase patents, and Lodsys wants developers to pay additional licensing fees. The company's litigation as a business model is bad news for app developers, and if Lodsys should somehow manage to win its infringement fight you can bet other patent holding companies will line up to strongarm developers out of even more money.


Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

If there were ever an article where a quote from the dümlaut was appropriate, this is it. When developers were first served with these demands for licensing from Lodsys, Florian (channeling his inner Ted Kennedy on whatever abortion bill crossed his desk) suggested, “pay it”.

It’s hilarious to me that you can label Lodsys a “troll” and not see how Florian’s advice to developers was just really awkward customer acquisition for his astroturfing operation. smh.


Bosco, go climb back under your own bridge please.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@furbies: So aside from name calling, would you care to argue Florian’s side that his approach to Lodsys wasn’t out of the same playbook as his approach to Oracle? Remember that? He spent the summer before the trial getting all the Apple fanboys little vajayjays all hot and bothered with how Oracle’s case was a slam dunk and would end Android. Then it turned out that he was the only blogger on the payroll of either legal team! After the judge asked twice because he couldn’t believe that Oracle and Florian were uniquely sleezy, when in fact, they set the bar.

I remind this community of that because Florian makes you guys look like fools. He doesn’t care. He gets paid by his clients for getting you hot and bothered. You can be an Apple fan without being a sucker. You’d be a more effective advocate if you didn’t fall for the garbage.

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