Developers Urging Boycott Of Apple & Google Until They 'Deal With' Patent Trolls

from the might-be-the-wrong-target dept

Some developers are trying to organize a developer boycott of iOS and Android offerings, getting them to pull their apps from the official marketplaces from both Apple and Google. At issue is that they feel Apple and Google haven’t done enough to fight on their behalf against patent trolls Lodsys and Macrosolve. To be honest, I doubt this will be effective, nor does it seem properly targeted. Apple, for example, has been quite aggressive on Lodsys, seeking to intervene in Lodsys’s lawsuits. And while Google was a bit slow and a bit more limited, it has also intervened. So I’m not entirely clear what more these developers want — and I’m wondering how many developers will actually cut off their two biggest sources of distribution over this. These patent trolls are certainly a problem and it would be nice to see a strong and swift response from companies like Apple and Google, but it’s not like the two have washed their hands of the situation and left developers totally hung out to dry.

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Companies: apple, google

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Comments on “Developers Urging Boycott Of Apple & Google Until They 'Deal With' Patent Trolls”

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DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Maybe first they should lead by example

I don’t agree, but I could be convinced by a good example of Google suing Apple by proxy.

Apple is suing Google’s partners. Google’s partners are countersuing Apple. Google is just now beginning to assist their partners who were too focused on innovation instead of being focused on hoarding patents. I don’t consider that latter action to be Google suing Apple by proxy.

freak (profile) says:

Re: Re: confirmed

Okay, google search tells me that Florian Mueller is a “No Software Patents” guy, who seems upright, but he has ties to microsoft, and occasionally comes out across google on copyright & patent issues.

(I didn’t know Florian was a microsoft crony from the first google search on his name, before you said he was connected. I figured some others wouldn’t either)

Anonymous Coward says:

I suspect it will be just like the members of the Tardian nation here and their stands against the MPAA. They will curse them and call them stupid and say their product is shit, and then spend hours trying to figure out where they can download a pre-release copy of the content.

Developers will make noise, and then keep developing. It’s what they do.

Jan Bilek (profile) says:

Re: Re: Boycotting the wrong party

I can imagine that one day (some part of) the Internet declares independence and becomes self-governing entity where US or any other law cannot be effectively enforced.

Actually now that I think about it… we just need some distributed alternative to DNS, transparent end to end encryption and some independent money system and we are all set.

Jan Bilek (profile) says:

Just get out of US jurisdiction

There are many countries with much reasonable patent law – why don’t we just get out of US jurisdiction? In EU software is not even patentable and I am not talking about China yet – why don’t we set up our patent-free app market there and just make sure that all the money is channeled out of the reach of US jurisdiction?

The Valley has traditionally been the place to go for startups and is still seen as such. But it seems to me that during last 5 yeas Americans managed to create the most innovation-hostile legal environment in the world… which kind of renders all those wonderful things they can offer to creative and productive people moot. Maybe it’s time to use their screw ups as an opportunity and take the kingdom out of their hands. The society which managed to monopolize basic ideas and made creating useful things illegal and racketing legal is doomed anyway.

Lets brainstorm a little and try to imagine how global system able to transfer money to those who create things from those who find those things cool and useful without ever going through anything controlled by American law could look like.

Stephan Kinsella (profile) says:

Plus, Apple is aggressive...

Apple is not only aggressive on Lodsys, it’s aggressive on its competitors–using patents to try to shut down competing products. If people want to boycott trolls, or, indirectly, companies who are not doing enough to fight trolls, there’s even more reason to boycott Apple for its own patent aggression. Apple’s aggressive use of patents is WORSE than the trolls: the trolls simply want money. They are just another tax added onto an already over-taxed business enterprise. But Apple seeks to use patents not to extract money from its competitors, but to use a court granted patent injunction to stop them from offering competing products. This is of course far worse than just trying to extort money.

Anon says:

Author is asking pulling apps from all markets

The article speaks about pulling the apps from all markets and seems to be requesting the help of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Blackberry. I don’t think the author is targeting or favoring any company in particular. I believe the boycott is only for 5 days. This patent stuff is interesting.

Lodsys won’t allow you to even post up a weblink of your other apps or app upgrade in your own app.

Macrosolve won’t let you use any online form on a mobile device.

Both of their patents are so outrageous and yet it was passed by the US Patent Office, which is causing a mess in the developer community.

staff says:

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

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