App Developers Dropping Out Of US Out Of Fears Over Patent Lawsuits

from the innovation! dept

A whole bunch of you have been submitting this story about how mobile app developers around the globe have begun pulling their apps from the US Apple iOS and Android Market stores because they're afraid of getting hit by patent lawsuits in the US. This shouldn't surprise anyone. Plenty of folks in the tech industry have been warning for well over a decade about the problems with our patent system and how it's basically being used to extract money from innovators, rather than to encourage innovation. The article quotes a bunch of developers, some of whom say that they're "concerned about my future as a software developer due to these patent issues."

At what point will people finally admit that the system is broken? Totally and completely broken?

And yet, what did Congress do? It took them five or six years, but they passed a totally toothless bit of patent reform that won't address a single one of the problems we all know are facing the system. But how can people deny that the patent system is a problem when it's clearly keeping innovation out of the US market?
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Filed Under: android, innovation, ios, patents, trolls, us

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  1. icon
    Lance (profile), 19 Jul 2011 @ 6:08am

    I won't do it

    I've spent the better part of the last 30 years writing code. Up until about 7 years ago, I would write code at my day job and then come home and write more code. I always negotiated my employment agreements to exclude the software I would write during my off hours, and I usually had to give up some money to get those exclusions. But I always figured it was worth the cost. I loved creating software so much that I was willing to do that.

    Today, I don't bother trying to negotiate those kinds of terms. I don't write code for any entity other than the company where I work. The simple reason for my stance is that I can't afford to become moderately successful, should I write something that people actually want. With the current state of patent law, there's too great a chance that whatever I create will be viewed as infringing on a patent held by someone else. Even if I were willing to bear the costs of doing patent searches, there is no guarantee against someone with deeper pockets alleging that I have infringed on their patent(s).

    In the end, it makes me sad that I can't create things without worrying who will accuse me of "stealing" their idea.

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