1. dentynefire's Avatar
    Can't believe Lodsys was granted this patent in the first place. I think patents are important way to protect R&D efforts but where's the technology in using a link for payments? It isn't something novel just evolutionary. I really hope this patent gets invalidated ASAP!

    Small BlackBerry developer in patent companys sights

    One of the most sprawling patent disputes in the world has now ensnared a BlackBerry app maker, raising the prospect that Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM-T32.200.521.64%) the company behind the BlackBerry, may intervene to protect its developers from patent-licensing demands.

    Yissachar Radcliffe, a York University student who runs a one-person app development shop called Rotten Ogre, received a patent-infringement notice from U.S. licensing firm Lodsys on Thursday. The letter asserts that Rotten Ogres lone app, a BlackBerry PlayBook game called Lonely Turret, infringes on a Lodsys patent relating to in-app payment and purchases.

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    I never thought they were interpreting the patent so broadly, Mr. Radcliffe said, adding that the free version of Lonely Turret simply contains a link to a BlackBerry app marketplace, where users can buy the premium version of the game. Its just a link The two apps are entirely separate.

    Myriad developers who build apps for Apple and Android-powered mobile devices have already received similar letters from Lodsys. However, Mr. Radcliffe believes he is the first BlackBerry developer to do so. Apple, and Androids developer Google, have already taken steps to fight Lodsys in court and in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in large part because both companies worry that the Lodsys patents could eventually apply to thousands of apps and threaten the entire mobile ecosystem on iOS and Android platforms.

    Now, RIM may be forced to take similar steps. Mr. Radcliffe said he has contacted the Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry maker about the infringement letter, and is waiting to hear back. RIM did not respond to a request for comment by deadline Tuesday.

    Still, it is unclear what RIM, Google or Apple can do to assist their development communities in the short term. Several large companies that use online payment systems are trying to have some of Lodsyss patents declared invalid by a U.S. federal court. Google has asked the U.S. patent office to re-examine two of Lodsyss patents, which could prompt the office to significantly narrow the scope of those patents. But both approaches, even if successful, will likely take years.

    Lodsys has become a lightning rod in the continuing and high-profile dispute over technology patents. In recent months, the Texas-based company which doesnt design or build anything, but owns a small number of patents has sent licensing demand letters to dozens of large and small companies.

    The bulk of those licensing demands centre on a patent Lodsys owns relating to in-app payment methods. Lodsys interprets the patent as not only covering payments made within the app environment, but also apps that contain links to payment methods that are entirely outside the app itself for example, a link to a third-party payment website where users can buy and download premium versions of the app.

    Not only has Lodsys become involved in sprawling court cases with more than 30 large companies, including Best Buy, adidas AG and The New York Times Co., it has also sent patent infringement and licensing demand letters to dozens, if not hundreds of small-time app developers. For the most part, those developers simply dont have the money to fight back.

    Its pretty much impossible for me to do, said Mr. Radcliffe, who has not yet decided what his next move will be. Even an hour or two of an attorneys time would wipe out everything Ive made from the game.

    A Lodsys representative did not respond to a request for comment.

    Even though the Lodsys patents are likely to face court challenges for years to come, the companys actions have already had an impact on the app-development world. Several small developers have opted to pull their apps from U.S.-based marketplaces in order to limit legal liability in that country. Others have removed payment functionality from inside their apps.

    Its the first time weve seen a widespread campaign against basically individuals for patent infringement, said Julie Samuels, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is running programs to educate developers about the Lodsys situation. To the extent there is a silver lining, it is that this is shining a light on a problem that has been plaguing developers for a long time. This is a huge problem facing innovation in America.

    Small BlackBerry developer in patent company’s sights - The Globe and Mail
    chiefbroski likes this.
    09-01-11 10:31 AM
  2. Rootbrian's Avatar
    Such a pointless patent in my honest opinion. Agreed OP.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    chiefbroski likes this.
    09-04-11 10:05 PM
  3. BBThemes's Avatar
    apple, google, microsoft and RIM should just club together and buy lodsys and hold the patents between them (much like the nortel deal) as that would solve all the problems.
    chiefbroski likes this.
    09-04-11 10:15 PM
  4. chiefbroski's Avatar
    Apple, RIM and Google can drag Lodsys through the court system and bankrupt them easily. But anyway, the scope of these types of patents have to be restrained. The patents are far too general. Lodsys didn't invent App world or have anything to do with payments in App world. Pure patent trolling. I've read a few of the patents and it doesn't look like they will get anywhere suing these companies.
    09-04-11 11:02 PM
  5. sf49ers's Avatar
    IMO the person who gave Lodsys the patent on such a ridiculous thing should be sued first..

    Secondly, the management at Lodsys should be stoned for suing such a small fellow on a ridiculous thing
    chiefbroski likes this.
    09-04-11 11:22 PM
  6. Raestloz's Avatar
    Another patent troll case lol. Just how screwed up is the patent system in America that such a broad generalization can be patented?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    chiefbroski likes this.
    09-06-11 06:23 AM
  7. chiefbroski's Avatar
    Yeah, I agree. I swear a patent shouldn't work like that. It's like patenting an entire sector of business.

    Lodsys: "Let's just make a patent on making money using software. Yeah, and sue the entire world! Mruhahahah!"

    Who knows, there could be other "genius" Lodsys patents. They just think of the most general way to do anything, then call it their patent...

    Lodsys: "Let's patent using applications on the cloud That way we don't have to do anything hard, we just have to draw a flowchart showing how one application can be opened from another computer far away using arrows!"

    or "Let's patent 6-core mobile processors, its bound to happen, AND we don't have to know anything about chips, we can just say that you can hook them up together in parallel and BAM, MONEY!"

    or "As for our latest inventions! We patent brighter LCDs by turning up the brightness, changing the unmuted volume while muted, and using a keyboard to write code."

    Company policy: Sit and wait for someone else to make money, then sue their pants off.
    09-06-11 09:02 AM