What developers need to know about Lodsys and similar patent threats

FOSS Patents has put together an excellent write up on what iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad developers need to know about patent litigation threats, like those Lodsys began making last week against apps like PCalc and expanded upon today, sending letters to Icon Factory among others.

Lodsys has explained their side of the argument, and according to The Guardian, Apple's legal department is actively investigating the situation. But to be clear Lodsys is just an example -- there are many, many patents floating out there and many companies assembling portfolios with perhaps the exact same intentions.

While users shouldn't be worried about patent companies suing anyone for using apps, users should be worried that it could become prohibitively expensive to produce the apps users if every holding company under the sun suddenly wants a cut of every app in the App Store. (Insert your own "first they came for PCalc's upgrade button, then they came for..." cautionary cliché here.)

Read the entire breakdown via the link below, it's a good one.

[FOSS Patents, The Guardian]

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

7 Comments
  • Apple either must not allow this type of sale on the app store or it MUST support it's developers by paying for their legal costs. Apps are what made Apple billions of dollars by driving sales of it's devices. Apple does not want to piss off it's developers.
  • LOL and you think apple cares. They have yet to respond.
  • According to The Guardian, Apple’s legal department is actively investigating the situation.
    Some people are never happy with anything at all. Had they not said this in the article, then you'd be complaining. If Apple pays their legal fees, you'll complain that Apple didn't buy these patents to protect their users from this in the first place. You people always find something to complain about.
  • Agreed totally.
  • But then again, Apple is in no position to chastise anyone for defending their patents.
  • I know this really isn't anything but each time I see a Phoenix Wright image, there should be "Objection!" in there somewhere XD
  • So, back to PayPal links and unlock codes?