Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Lodsys seems to take advantage of big-business-friendly patent law, USPTO policies, and court forum shopping

Electronic Frontier Foundation has a an FAQ link for app developers who receive demand letters from Lodsys, link here.

It  makes several points.  A demand letter is not a lawsuit.  Another point is that receiving a technology feature from Apple of Google doesn’t necessarily mean that the app developer may not be separately responsible for getting a license.  Apparently that issue is before a federal court in East Texas (apparently popular with plaintiff “forum-shopping”).  It may take months or years to settle, and is likely to go through an appeals cycle.  Supreme Court involvement would probably occur only after competing rulings among different circuits.  It sounds like an issue the Court should decide, unless Congress acts instead.

Apple and Google have made some moves, including an attempt by Google to shorten the process to “reexamination”. 

Update: Later June 4:

I hadn't even seen Timothy B. Lee's Wonkblog article on patent troll in the Washington Post until I got a tweet today about it from him;  He calls the trolls ambulance chasers and says their activity was facilitated by relaxing of rules for patent acquisition in the Reagan 1980s; Obama's proposed reforms are not enough; here's the article.  

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