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Lodsys Sues 7 iPhone Devs Over Patent Infringement Claims 123

Posted by timothy
from the all-very-horatio-alger-villain dept.
Dachannien writes "Patently-O and Ars Technica report that Lodsys has filed suit [here's the complaint] in the Eastern District of Texas against seven iPhone developers, asserting that the defendants are infringing two patents. Apple had previously indicated their belief that all iPhone developers are protected by a licensing agreement that Apple had made with the patents' former assignee, Intellectual Ventures. But Lodsys insists that the defendants are nonetheless liable for infringement. Still an open question is whether Apple will go beyond the mailing of strongly worded letters in defending third-party iPhone devs."
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Lodsys Sues 7 iPhone Devs Over Patent Infringement Claims

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  • by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @02:20PM (#36323692) Journal

    First, this is happening to Android developers as well. Second, although you're on the right track, IMO, defending third-party suits is really not that different from an out-of-court settlement to a lawsuit; it encourages other sleazy IP factories to sue app developers to get a quick payoff at Apple's/Google's expense.

    If Apple and Google believe that their contracts with Lodsys grant rights to third-party app developers, then they should sue Lodsys for breach of contract, damage to their reputations (slander), and tortious interference. Between Apple and Google, it shouldn't be hard to thoroughly bury this patent troll company. Anything short of utterly burying them won't be enough of a deterrent to patent troll suits in the future.

    Even better, because such suits would not be counter-suits (Lodsys isn't suing Apple or Google, AFAIK), they could be filed in a more friendly district, e.g. Northern California.

    Just saying.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @02:34PM (#36323874) Journal

    Until Congress realizes just how goddamned toxic software patents are, there will be no such thing as a safe haven. I don't do a lot of development any more, but I'd be hesitant about getting into the game at all, at least for anything with wide distribution. I'm not even sure you could write hello.c any more without some patent troll trying to nail you with "a program that outputs the phrase 'hello world' through standard output".

    Fucking ludicrous. How could the judiciary and the politicians let it get this bad?

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:30PM (#36324526)
    IANAL, however, the very first thing I'd do is move for immediate dismissal with prejudice on the basis that the Plaintiffs have failed to join indispensable parties (i.e. Apple) to the lawsuit. I don't see any way that Apple cannot be dragged into this suit and you just don't want a friend of the court brief from them.

    Also, consider asking the judge to consolidate the cases so that you can pool your defenses.

    And lastly, file immediate counterclaims for anything you can think of (vexatious litigation, harassment, extortion, barratry, perjury) so that they can't empty your pockets first and then just dismiss the case (w/o prejudice) and run away untouched. As long as you have counterclaims active Lodsys can't unilaterally end the case and leave you holding the bag for your legal expenses.

    This case is far too much like someone finding something patented in MS Visual Studio.NET, and then suing application developers for using VS.NET to develop their own applications.

    Of course, Apple should have already shown up for this just to prove that they're really not as Evil as many think them to be.

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