back to article iOS dev nemesis Lodsys pressures Android coders too?

Lodysys – the patent holder that has pressured iOS app developers to turn over revenue from in-app payments – is taking aim at Android app developers as well, according to a post on Google's Android discussion list. "If you've been following tech news lately, you may have read about a company named Lodsys that is threatening …


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  1. Alien Doctor 1.1
    Thumb Down

    Has anyone...

    patented walking into a shop and buying something? It strikes me that this patent is pure crap masquerading as innovation.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    In for a penny, in for a pound/dollar/euro/yen etc

    Lodsys really had to try the other platforms didn't they?

    They probably knew all along that Google, Microsoft & Apple had licenses for their 'thing' but I expect some lawyer charging $800/hour has told them that they could get their pot of gold buy doing this.

    (remember SCO's Billions!)

    IANAL etc but it might all go down to the fine print of the contracts with Apple etc.

    I can only hope that the lawyers advice is wrong. If this plan of theirs succeeds then there is really no hope for any software developer to write code in the future without violating some patent or other.

    BH's, please head for Lodsys and do your job.

  3. Horridbloke

    I'm not condoning illegal acts...

    ... but patent trolls are going to inspire and be targeted by a new breed of activist at some point, probably someone a lot nastier than Anonymous.

    Gimp, because that's what they are.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: I'm not condoning illegal acts...

      Yeah, pissing off a load of people who really know how to write code rather than the usual s'kiddies?

      It can only end badly for them.....

  4. Anonymous Coward


    I hate these patent trolls, even though they are not applicable here in little old Blighty.

    Apple, Google and Microsoft want to get there combined might together and set an army of rabid slavering lawyers at them

    The devs providing apps for their platforms is what makes (or breaks) a platform so the platform providers should do their little bit and make use of the money the devs have to pay them for the pleasure of providing apps and protect those developers.

    The only thing that's probably putting off Apple, Google and Microsoft from doing this is that the patent is for "in app payments" which means the flow of money (and their %)is diverted from them.....

    And I prefer the old troll icon !!!!!eleventyone11!!

    1. Goat Jam
      Paris Hilton


      You mean the patent troll who gets 5 bucks for every HTC Android phone sold?

      That Microsoft?

      Is patent trolling only OK if you are $MEGACORP?

  5. Ramazan

    they were forced to eat Robin's ministrels

    ... and there was much rejoicing

  6. Syren Baran

    Bloody stupid patent

    So, if the browser in an "app", every browser vendor and web-shop owes those twits money?

    Nuke em from orbit, only way to be sure.

  7. nyelvmark


    Well, if Google, Apple and Microsoft have all paid for licences, that implies that they think the patent is valid. I suspect this will end with a rewriting of the licences to explicitly include app devs, accompanied by large payouts to Lodysy by all 3.

    Unless someone can engineer their way around the patent.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It seems to me that this could actually make the US patent troll problem understood and cared about by the general public if Lodsys isn't very careful. If I were the developer of a particularly popular recent piece of tat for smartphones I would make a free sequel available (so as not to use any "paying for stuff" ideas) but when people install and run it it would just be a screen with text.

    "Until the Lodsys payment mechanism patent issue is resolved it is too risky for us, or anyone, to continue in the smartphone app business. In the meantime no Fart Noises 2: The Fartening for you."

    @AC 19:54 - I also prefer the old troll icon. I think with this new troll icon the Reg are trolling us. (Something I know they like to do sometimes.)

  9. Anonymous Coward

    no other reason for posting

    Simply to use the 'No shit, Sherlock' icon.

  10. cj2000

    not bitter

    "asking that they share about half a per cent of their US revenue as a license fee"

    So for every £10, they want 5p?

    Total cost to the average phone app developer should be no more than £1/month then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not the amount it's the principal.

      "So for every £10, they want 5p?

      Total cost to the average phone app developer should be no more than £1/month then."

      But m'lud, I'm only charging the people who walk past my house a few pence each in toll.

      They're asking for such a trivial amount because that expect people like you to say exactly that and give them the judgement.

      The trouble is once they have the decision there will be nothing stopping them raising the percentage to anything these obvious money grabbers choose.

  11. Jim Carter

    What a bunch of twerps.

    If I get something similar from them, I'll be referring them to Arkell v. Pressdram.

  12. zerocred

    Talk about patenting the wheel.

    To get a anything patented - aren't you supposed to have an 'inventive step' that is not obvious to somone familiar with the art?

    Anyone familiar with shareware will be familiar with the "send $10 for full functionality" messages - upgrading 'in-app' is an obvious step (with the introduction of app shops) if not already prior-art .

    Apart from that, a random search on Google finds firms making 'free offers' for decades (e.g. with the hope you buy the service - so it is hardly a whole new business process either.

    So what exactly did they patent that wasn't obvious?

    What's the next patent claim? Hyperlinks? one-click purchase? using a computer for fun and profit?

    Come on - these patents are nothing more than fuel for the screwed up US patent system...

    1. stratofish

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      "What's the next patent claim? Hyperlinks? one-click purchase?"

      On the off-chance that this was serious exageration - Both of those have already been done. Amazon own the one-click patent, BT claim to own the hyperlink patent.

  13. poohbear

    A or All

    Um, as far as I know patents are on "a method" of doing XXX. Not "all" methods of doing XXX. So surely they claimants need to prove that the devs are using THEIR particular method, and said method has some unique characteristic which is not obvious or 'the only way of doing it', like making wheels round?

  14. Nickd

    LG Electronics vs Quanta Computers

    My understanding was that the supreme court had ruled specifically against double dipping back in 2008 and further defined the term 'patent exhaustion'

    The exact details of the agreement between Apple Inc. and Lodysys are secret, but I'd guess that Lodysys hasn't deliberately slipped something past Apples lawyers.

    What they may be claiming is that because App store apps are developed and sold separately to the phone itself then the point of sale of the phone doesn't cover the point of sale of the app, thus each app must separately license each patent.

    The hollowness of this claim is that in-app payments are (by my understanding) included using apples API, code developed by apple and shipped in the phone as sold.

  15. Shonko Kid

    Inventive step not required

    From what I can tell, to get a patent in the US only seems to require that you submit a claim that has either different words, or different ordering of words from any previous patents, and that you obfuscate the obviousness of the 'patent' with enough words to bore even to most 'librarian' of patent clerks into submission. And once you get that stamp (it's 9pm on a Friday and the clerk wants to get home for an illicit Horlick's), it's just a game of Poker with anyone you fancy taking aim at, except you now have the unfair advantage that to see your hand, the other side has to shell out thousands/millions of $$ to lawyers.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    To all the micronations out there...

    Could one of you MicroNations please set up a free Patents Office that we can all register frivolous patents like 'Typing on a keyboard', 'making noises with mouth', 'walking alternatively on left and right feet' and the ever popular 'breathing'.

    Patent trolls need some serious successful trolling, just liking shipping companies the world over need countries with absolutely no safety, sea-worthiness or taxation laws, like Panama.

    Troll, because successful troll will be successful.

    (re: Successful Troll icon: geez, don't you people read teh Intarwebz?)

  17. Adam T

    Don't bother getting out of bed this morning

    Because you know some c*nt has already patented the rest of your happy day.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    I actually hope Lodsys are successful...

    It's only when they've successfully prevented 90% of developers from developing anything that the mainstream public and daft politicians are going to sit up and take notice that the current patent system is killing off innovation.

    You know, when their magical iThings have no apps available in any app store/market.

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