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Patents The Courts Apple

Lodsys Expands Patent Lawsuit to 10 More Companies 75

An anonymous reader writes "A day after Apple filed a motion to intervene in Lodsys's lawsuit against seven app developers (EFF comments), Lodsys has filed its third lawsuit this year. The latest complaint targets ten companies including Adidas, Best Buy, Best Western, Black and Decker. Lodsys sues them over two patents, one of which it also asserts against app developers in court as well as its now famous letters (an example of which has meanwhile been published as a result of Apple's intervention). The ten new assertions relate to web surveys, feedback-soliciting FAQs, and live interactive chat."
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Lodsys Expands Patent Lawsuit to 10 More Companies

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  • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @01:39PM (#36412142) Journal

    We're going to be rich!

    Gah, I am so sick of watching this unfold. I keep thinking, well, at least this will highlight the absurdity of it all. But no, it never does, either the case gets dismissed or the idiots actually win [], whether through settlement or actual trial victories.

    When will it end?

    • by Pecisk ( 688001 )

      Please not i4i case in same basket, because it is more complex than that. Microsoft literally stole their tech while working togheter. Yes, software patents are bad, but there are those who tries to use system honesly and those who game the system in the open (patent trolls, offensive pattenting from Amazon, Microsoft).

      • Yes, i4i was definitely the inventor of "custom XML". OMG so novel!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > When will it end?

      That much I can answer you.

      Remember the English, the French & others trying to rip off the world claiming their "nobility" was reason enough; nowadays, it's the US and other countries legal systems.

      Somehow they expect:

      a) that their internal laws cover other countries;
      b) that their internal laws are moral.

      It's more or less like that: "hey, don't do that, because it's immoral (or inhumane)"... and there comes the answer: "no, it's ok, because it's legal".

      But, as you were asking, "whe

      • I'm glad to see some countries denying the US patent laws although I worry about where it will lead.. we need to face the fact, though, that every minute patent troll are allowed to keep this up, they are damaging smaller companies, stifling innovation and stomping on the true spirit of capitalism.

        I have a friend who constantly comes up with great ideas, but he can't develop them because he can't afford to pay off the patent trolls, who do nothing with their patents... it's disgusting.

    • When will it end?

      When you, and other people like you do the hard work of getting elected to congress and change the law.

  • attempt to gain control over the Internet and put a tollbooth on everyone's driveway.

    The only questions left to ask are: "Did they pay enough congressmen?", and, "have they given enough trips to judges?"

    Without those cash payments and "rewards" they can't win. With them they can't lose.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dachannien ( 617929 )

      The patent statutes have been changed relatively little since 1952. There have been updates since then to accommodate a few treaties that the US has since ratified, but those updates didn't really affect patent validity and infringement. In fact, the biggest change in that regard was the gradual elimination of submarine patents by changing the patent term from 17 years after issuance to 20 years after effective filing date. In other words, payments to congresspeople would have had little effect on Lodsys

    • And who exactly is "lodsys" anyway? So when they're done suing everyone via secret funding... then they'll sell their lock over the internet to the highest bidder!

      We have no invention to surpass the net anywhere on the horizon for the next 10 years.

  • -A survey.
    -A remote survey on a computer. Oh, oops. A "two-way interaction".

    Damn. Are these real patents?

    They're just...vague ideas. I'll admit I'm new to reading patents, but I guess I was under the impression you needed an actual implementation of something to get a patent. Why not just dream everything you could ever think of, and lie in wait for someone to actually do it, then pounce?

    Oh. It seems that's exactly what they did, nevermind.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Most of Lodsys's patents appear to be invalid due to prior art, especially teletext, which was fielded commercially in Florida (at least) by Viewdata Corp of America in the early 1980's.

  • Seriously, is this company related to Unisys in any way?

  • I feel like there should be a statute of limitations on this crap. Obviously this guy made no/little efforts prior to this to enforce his "intellectual" property. It's like waiting until they feel like cashing out that they start these kind of lawsuits.

  • by clifyt ( 11768 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @05:22PM (#36413456)

    I wonder when they consider their earliest creation, because my team most likely has prior art.

    I managed a small programming office at Indiana University where we had been using computer based testing since the early 80s. Unfortunately, it meant having to send discs via campus mail or driving across several regional campuses and...I'm lazy. About the time gopher was still popular (preweb) I was writing software to do gopher based tests / surveys without a lot of luck because the medium wasn't great for it...which led to client server apps that worked, but weren't as plastic as I'd like...the web was barely being shown and I readapted my code (err...along with my nerds) to do 'cgi' work (sadly it was an entire web server we wrote that had HyperCard on the backend for storage of tests and surveys).

    We demonstrated this at a time few people knew what the web was, and at the time it was generally considered the first test / survey software for the web. Again, mostly because I was lazy. Pretty sure we beat all prior art for this.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Pretty sure we beat all prior art for this.

      No no no, you misunderstand the game.

      You patent everything you can think of in the absolute, most general terms possible. Then you wait for someone to actually do it, then you wait some more for it to become popular, then you come along and blow them all out of the water. (But do it too early and you ain't got nutin' to show for all of your hard work.)

      You actually created something though?!!? How the hell did you do THAT?

      • by clifyt ( 11768 )

        At the time, I refused to patent anything...the university technology transfer team use to come to me regularly to ask about licensing the apps, and I pretty much said they were public domain except the content...anyone could take the code and do whatever they wanted, except copyright it and claim it was there's (none of this GPL bullshit...if something is free, it isnt free if you have to make demands on it)...a lot was developed on my own time, and I made certain things that were my own time were not deve

    • If you really have prior art, let EFF know: []

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.