from the no-that's-not-scammy-at-all... dept
In the past few months, we wrote about how patent troll Lodsys sued app developer Todd Moore because he called Lodsys a “patent troll.” Stunningly, Lodsys’ lawyer more or less admitted this to Moore’s lawyer, and that allowed Moore to hit Lodsys with an anti-SLAPP motion for trying to stifle free speech. Lodsys quickly ran away, which happens semi-frequently. If you don’t recall, Lodsys, which got some patents from Intellectual Ventures (though it’s unclear if IV still gets a cut of any proceeds), likes to claim that a very large percentage of mobile apps infringe on its patents, and has spent the past few years sending around demand letters to shake down app developers.
However, at a lunchtime talk in DC recently, Todd Moore spoke about the legal battle with Lodsys, and apparently added a fascinating tidbit that I had not seen anywhere before. As reported by Rob Pegoraro, who was in attendance, Lodsys apparently demanded Moore pay up to a Swedish bank:
Moore noted the fundamental asymmetry of patent trolling, saying he could only fight because he had pro bono representation: “Most people who can’t get a free lawyer like me will settle.”
He also described some blunt bargaining by Lodsys–“how much will you give us so we go away?”–with the funds to be deposited in a Swedish bank account to avoid U.S. taxes.
So, not only is Lodsys up to some fairly questionable practices concerning demanding payment over a highly questionable patent — and sometimes going after people for exercising their free speech rights — according to Moore’s statements at this event, the company may also be trying to dodge US taxes to boot. It makes you hope that perhaps Lodsys is on the list of 25 companies that the FTC plans to investigate in detail, to understand how they operate.