College Student/Developer Gives Up, Pays Lodsys

from the exactly-what-lodsys-wanted dept

Lodsys, the Texas-based shell company (with some connection to Intellectual Ventures) that has threatened tons of developers for daring to offer in-app payments for mobile apps using either Apple's or Google's app store payment system, is apparently getting some developers to pay up. Paid Content has the unfortunate story of Michael Karr, a college sophomore and app developer, who says he simply can't afford to move forward and can't wait to see if Apple steps in and protects developers. So he's agreed to pay up. Of course, because this is the way most patent trolls work, he can't say what kind of agreement he came to with the company. This is pretty ridiculous, and if the situation doesn't make you angry, you're not paying enough attention to what's going on here. Basically a company that does absolutely nothing is shaking down tons of companies and individuals for using Apple's and Google's own payment mechanisms. First, there shouldn't be anything patentable here. Second, through deals with IV, both Apple and Google have technically "licensed" the tech already, so under basic patent exhaustion concepts, the developers should be immune from such suits. But Lodsys and the trolls like it abuse the system, knowing that the cost of fighting them greatly exceeds how much they'll settle for. It's a pure loss. Money that was going to innovation now goes into the dirty pockets of some innovation-killing patent lawyers. Sickening.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Hugh S. Myers, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:08pm

    Patent Trolls

    Is there any particular reason a Facebook page labeled Trolls can't be set up to publicize the details of each lawyer involved in these extortion examples? Yes it might be considered an invasion of privacy, but the situation is essentially public as are the actors---might be nice to have a check list when it comes time to do something other than roll over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:28pm

      Re: Patent Trolls

      "Yes it might be considered an invasion of privacy"

      When an entity (claims to) use the government (ie: patents) as a means of acquiring revenue from others, any claims of privacy should be thrown out the window. The public has a right to know how our laws are being used.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

      Re: Patent Trolls

      Illegal or not every citizen has the duty to compile those lists and put it on a public space, people should not be afraid of denouncing those people who harm them.

      How bad people want jobs back?

      It ain't happening until the monopolies are broken and that means cutting down IP laws to size.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:50pm

      Re: Patent Trolls

      Is there any particular reason a Facebook page labeled Trolls can't be set up to publicize the details of each lawyer involved in these extortion examples? Yes it might be considered an invasion of privacy, but the situation is essentially public as are the actors---might be nice to have a check list when it comes time to do something other than roll over.


      These are lawyers, and litigious ones at that. Defamation suit with a preliminary injunction to have the page taken down in 5 ... 4 ... 3 ...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Hugh S. Myers, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 10:13pm

        Re: Re: Patent Trolls

        The Facebook page needn't be entitled 'Trolls', could just as easily be entitled 'Lawyers involved in Patent Lawsuits as Plaintiffs'---I believe 'fact' is usually a sufficient defense against Defamation...

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Michael Lockyear (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 12:34am

        Re: Re: Patent Trolls

        Is it defamation...for a lawyer? If I wanted to hire a lawyer as an attack dog, I would WANT the biggest a*hole in town! Sadly I can envisage a situation where lawyers might actually use their position on a troll page to get business...

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:51pm

      Re: Patent Trolls

      They told the public that America would outsource low paying jobs to create high paying jobs, now high paying jobs are endangered by intellectual monopolies.

      End IP monopoly now!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 9:16pm

        Re: Re: Patent Trolls

        "They told the public that America would outsource low paying jobs to create high paying jobs"

        Maybe the high paying jobs referred to was lawyering. Did you ever think of that?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Daddy Warbucks, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    HTML5

    From my understanding, HTML5 will enclose code so as to allow code to run inside the browser, independent of apps. If I'm mistaken, forgive me.

    How will this change the payment process? Will scum-suckers be able to leach off of code for browsers?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

      Re: HTML5

      Found this description: HTML5 is a programming language that will allow developers to embed audio and video directly into Web pages.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jed, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 9:08pm

    Loser Pays

    As John Stossel has pointed out on one of his shows. If we had a loser pays system where there were actual consequences for filing bad/frivolous lawsuits we wouldn't have patent trolls or at least not as many. In a loser pays system if you file a lawsuit and you lose you have to pay the other parties court and legal costs. It is part of a lot of other countries legal systems, and there is insurance in case you are not sure if you will win.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      The Devil's Coachman (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:05am

      Re: Loser Pays

      I have my own loser pays system. It's called a Louisville Slugger. Cheap, effective, and easy to dispose of. Works every time.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Christopher (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Loser Pays

      The problem with that system is that it keeps people with very good cases who are terrified by someone else's lawyers into filing. A better system is the 'both have their own legal bills' system that America has today.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      vic kley, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

      Re: Loser Pays

      Right OFF!

      So when I sue a federal laboratory because they misappropriated the technology revealed to them under NDA,and they use 3 million TAX Dollars to our thirty thousand to crush us in court. It would be fair in your eyes that I would be driven into bankruptcy while they kept the technology they stole?

      This is exactly what has happened to me, you know me one of the 99% and you know them one of the 1%.

      Your idea of fair is the injustice of which revolutions are made.

      You and Masnick pretend to care about the small guy but you clearly don't give a damn. The people who buy our creations and make the thieves pay are all that stand between us and the fate of Tesla and so many others who have died in abject poverty.

      Oh by the way check out Masnick's Floor64 website - he sells opinions to Wall Street and its multi-national corporate IP abusers.

      There is a term for someone who sells their soul and injures the innocent they are called MERCs or mercenaries. The shoe fits for sure.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:05pm

        Re: Re: Loser Pays

        You are not the 99%, you are a would be 1% stupid fuck.
        That is not competent enough to stand alone and compete on a market.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

        Re: Re: Loser Pays

        They can keep the tech, they wouldn't be able to stop you from competing with them either, are you smart enough to out compete others inside a market or are you just another loser that dreamed of being a business owner?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:10pm

        Re: Re: Loser Pays

        Why carpenters have to compete with each other and you can't?
        Why restaurants can compete with each other and you can't?
        Why software devs can compete with each other and you can't?

        The problem is that you believe you got a right to tell other what they should or not do.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re: Loser Pays

        If that is "exactly what happened to you," the blame lies in your terrible lawyer.

        Of course, the more likely chain of events is that that isn't exactly what happened.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 11:24pm

    " Money that was going to innovation now goes into the dirty pockets of some innovation-killing patent lawyers. Sickening."

    Actually, since the patent lawyers are using the money they get to buy more patents, they are in essence fueling innovation.

    Sickening that you can't see that they money comes back into the economy. I guess when you dislike something, it's like the money is shoved into a furnace and burned, but when you like something (such as declining sales for the RIAA types), then it's just money making another cycle in the econonmy.

    That really is sickening.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2011 @ 11:50pm

      Re:

      Buying patents isn't exactly innovation. That's a lot more like... well, buying patents. It seems you equate patents to trade-able items like collector plates or figurines.

      Is that what you believe patents are? Pokemon cards?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 3:17am

        Re: Re:

        Legal innovation is not technical innovation or a desirable social innovation.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Ronald J Riley (profile), Oct 29th, 2011 @ 3:04pm

        Dealing in Misappropiated Goods / wwRe: Re:

        Patents are routinely traded in whole or in part.

        The college student developer just learned a valuable lesson, not to deal in misappropriated goods.

        Ronald J. Riley,

        President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org

        Other Affiliations:
        Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
        Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
        President - Alliance for American Innovation
        Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
        Washington, DC
        Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 12:12am

      Re:

      You and your kind have no idea what innovation is.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 12:27am

      Re:

      "they are in essence fueling innovation."

      How?

      "they (sic) money comes back into the economy."

      How?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        PaulT (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 12:31am

        Re: Re:

        Oh, and as a bonus question, if you can explain either of those, also explain how the innovative and economic benefits are greater than those presented by the developers they're shutting down.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 6:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Paul, if they are paying inventors / developers for the rights to these patents, it is likely that money is being used by them to work on new things. At the least, it's money back into the economy.

          As for "which is more", it would depend on the patent, how it was used, etc. You can't look only at the short window of this week to see. Perhaps the patent in question was once used as the basis of a million dollar business. We don't know.

          The point isn't to judge the merit of one over the other, only to point out that the money doesn't just evaporate. It goes back into the economy at some point, and keeps cycling. It isn't lost money.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            PaulT (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 6:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Paul, if they are paying inventors / developers for the rights to these patents, it is likely that money is being used by them to work on new things"

            Are you dense or just being deliberately obtuse?

            The entire problem with "patent trolls" is that they DON'T pay inventors and developers. They don't have products in the marketplace, they simply sue those who do.

            If you disagree, please point out which products developed by those inventors at Lodsys are anywhere near the marketplace, and how this developer's (and others') real products being shut down benefits anyone except Lodsys.

            "It goes back into the economy at some point, and keeps cycling. It isn't lost money."

            Only if you assume that the money is being used to create something other than numbers in Dan Abelow's bank account. There's no evidence of that, unless you wish to point out some I may have missed?

            Unless you have some evidence, in fact, the reverse is true - money is being taken away from inventors and developers to pay a troll. Again, how is this a positive?

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Paul, simple rule of life: You don't get rich leaving money in a bank account.

              Leaving it in the bank account might make the bank rich.

              I have no doubt that this guy is actually using the money he collects, either investing it or spending it.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Whatever your stupid excuses are for the 'general,' in this particular situation it should be obvious that this is detrimental to the economy. Suing developers in a market where the developers are the foundation for the market causes harm to the market. I'm sure some bright developers somewhere are now not utilizing this easy payment system for fear of the legal trouble it may cause them. This equals less money for them, less money being spent by others, and guess what, even less money for patent holders. When patented technology stops being used then it the patent value decreases too. Less all around.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 7:12pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Rule of math, if you keep money in the bank and let it seat for a couple thousand years it will become a fortune, that is why the government specifically forbid such perpetual accounts from being created.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 11:41am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                By your logic, if I steal a suitcase of money from my burglary business, that's fine because I'll put that money back into the economy.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 7:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They pay a crazy person for some idea that they then turn around and use to extract money from others and in the process making sure only people who has money can enter that market and no start up will ever be able to pay anything and so they don't enter the market and don't produce anything of value, which leads to fewer and fewer companies.

            Oh that seems like a successful thing to do LoL

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 3:12am

      Re:

      So the money in the hands of a few will fuel development?
      If nobody can use it how that fuels development and innovation?

      It doesn't it creates a few rich people who hold everything at the expense of everybody else.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      patents do not equal innovation
      So the act of buying patents does not equal fueling innovation.
      What it does fuel is the act of patenting, which history shows us, acts as a massive brake on innovation.

      See, the delays placed by patents on improvements to the steam engine and the near demise of the Italian pharmaceutical industry.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Hua Fang (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    immunity, host and parasite

    It's like an immunity of a host against a parasite living within. A balance point. As long as there is a host, there will be a certain parasite adopted to it. Most parasites are not fatal to the host. What can we (host, patent-keeping society) do? Live with it but with up-to-date adjusted immunity, an on-going battle for ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Martinus Meiborg, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    Appsterdam Legal Foundation

    There is no need to give in to Lodsys on the first letter you get. You should not panic. It is only a first letter. If you sign you are on the hook: you may not talk about the license agreement, you can put driven to substantial costs if they "don't believe your sales reports". And that will continue even if the patent gets invalidated. It is not unlikely the patent will be invalidated.

    What Lodsys is doing is called extortion. You think the 0,575%, is not much, but it are the hidden conditions that may put you out of business.

    Watch the video: Surviving Extortion - An app maker's guide
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17734411

    and Victims of Extortion (interview with a Lodsys victim)
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17682287

    Then get in touch with the Appsterdam Legal Foundation, attorneys are waiting to help you. You are not alone!!

    http://appsterdamlegalfoundation.org/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Martinus Meiborg, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Appsterdam Legal Foundation

    There is no need to give in to Lodsys on the first letter you get. You should not panic. It is only a first letter. If you sign you are on the hook: you may not talk about the license agreement, you can put driven to substantial costs if they "don't believe your sales reports". And that will continue even if the patent gets invalidated. It is not unlikely the patent will be invalidated.

    What Lodsys is doing is called extortion. You think the 0,575%, is not much, but it are the hidden conditions that may put you out of business.

    Watch the video: Surviving Extortion - An app maker's guide
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17734411

    and Victims of Extortion (interview with a Lodsys victim)
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17682287

    Then get in touch with the Appsterdam Legal Foundation, attorneys are waiting to help you. You are not alone!!

    http://appsterdamlegalfoundation.org/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Martinus Meiborg (profile), Oct 15th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    Appsterdam Legal Fund

    There is no need to give in to Lodsys on the first letter you get. You should not panic. It is only a first letter. If you sign you are on the hook: you may not talk about th agreement, you can put driven to substantial costs if they "don't believe your sales reports". And that will continue even if the patent gets invalidated, which is not very unlikely.

    Lodsys is extorting. You think the 0,575%, is not much, but it are the hidden conditions that affect your whole business and that may put you out of business.

    Watch the video: Surviving Extortion - An app maker's guide
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17734411

    and Victims of Extortion (interview with a Lodsys victim)
    http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17682287

    Then get in touch with the Appsterdam Legal Fund for more into.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2011 @ 7:33pm

    Why doesn't the department of justice go after these patent trolls instead of going after those who innovate?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    staff, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    another biased article

    “Patent troll”

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

    Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

    Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest-
    https://www.insightcommunity.com/cases.php?n=10&pg=1

    They sell blog filler and "insights" to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world’s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick and his monkeys are not reporters. They are patent system saboteurs receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. They cannot be trusted and have no credibility. All they know about patents is they don’t have any.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      PaulT (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 10:24am

      Re: another biased article

      "Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”."

      You seem rather confused as to the points being raised here. A patent troll, whatever you wish to call them, is an organisation that produces nothing. They gain patents, wait for other companies to do the work to bring the product to market, and then sue them once they're successful. You seem to be assuming that the big companies are in the wrong here, but they're the ones both doing the inventing (most of the patents cover things that are easily invented independently) and the work to create a product.

      This is not to be confused with cases where people have actually patented something they try to bring to market but for whatever reason were beaten to market by others. In those cases, there is some defensible action in patent lawsuits. But those aren't the people being criticised.

      I'm all for small inventors having patent protection so that they can bring their products to market and have a reasonable chance of success. But, the companies criticised have no products. That's the problem.

      "Masnick and his monkeys have an unreported conflict of interest"

      Unreported... except for the links on this very site pointing toward the exact information you linked to? Are you saying that Mike should repeatedly point out any work he does on behalf of 3rd parties in every story for those too lazy to click on the link where it's all explained?

      As for "monkeys", who are you referring to? The people who voluntarily and freely provide both content and comments on the site, otherwise having no connection to Mike or Techdirt? Or, are you claiming actions by people who are actually employed here?

      "They cannot be trusted and have no credibility"

      What reason do I have to trust your words? Who are you? Why are you credible?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 16th, 2011 @ 7:07pm

      Re: another biased article

      So what you can still make it yourself and produce something and earn something can't you?

      Or are you just not good enough to be in the market?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      nasch (profile), Oct 16th, 2011 @ 11:22pm

      Re: another biased article

      Please at least come up with something new rather than copy-pasting the same thing into every patent story.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 17th, 2011 @ 4:31pm

      Re: another biased article

      I call you a spammer.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    staff, Oct 18th, 2011 @ 7:51am

    another biased article

    “Patent troll”

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, shell company, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

    Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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