What Lodsys wants from iOS developers ... money

What Lodsys wants from iOS developers ... money

Summary: The other day it emerged that that a firm called Lodsys had approached a selected number of iOS developers with a 'notice' asking them to participate in licensing discussions. But what does Lodsys want?

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The other day it emerged that that a firm called Lodsys had approached a selected number of iOS developers with a 'notice' asking them to participate in licensing discussions. But what does Lodsys want?

The developers approached had been understandably reticent about discussing the notice they received, but now Lodsys has posted a Q&A on its blog with answers to some of the most common questions it has received via email (along with death threats it seems). Here Lodsys comes clean with what it is after:

In the case of an Application doing an in-application upgrade (and only this scenario), Lodsys is seeking 0.575% of US revenue over for the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage.  So on an application that sells US$1m worth of sales in a year, the licensee would have an economic exposure of $5,750 per year.

What's interesting is that according to one of the developers approached by Lodsys, James Thomson, this is the first reference to money he has seen.

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Open source activist Florian Mueller calls the claims "absolutely outrageous" and says that Lodsys are "abusing the system, jeopardizing the mobile apps economy."

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple, Operating Systems, Software Development

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9 comments
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  • Florian Muller, open source activist?...

    Florian Muller is more like in the 'hip pocket' of Microsoft.

    And since iOS is a closed source system, there isn't any openness about it.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~-~ Your Linux Advocate
    • RE: What Lodsys wants from iOS developers

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~-~ Your Linux Advocate <br>To be fair, any upgrade including avatars, game maps, patches for any programs, etc. on other portable operating systems can also be tacked as a fee for Lodsys assuming it used an upgrade button. What would this do to the open source software for other oses? How would a new bill be seen to a market which was once free ? Lodsys has triggered a bomb which can explode beyond all boundaries.
      partman1969
    • RE: What Lodsys wants from iOS developers

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~-~ Your Linux Advocate

      Florian Muller is the founder of the No Software Patents campaign. Hardly an advocate for Microsoft's intellectual property rights.

      And what does iOS inherent openness or closeness have to do with anything?
      Your Non Advocate
    • And your comments means what?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~-~ Your Linux Advocate

      It provides no value to this discussion. So you hate integrated solutions that provide substantially better user experience.

      How does that relate to this post?
      Bruizer
    • RE: What Lodsys wants from iOS developers

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~-~ Your Linux Advocate

      So what does your post have to do with the article? From what I'm understanding this patent "violation" has to do with the use of an upgrade button - which is present in all kinds of software not just iOS apps... it's also present in the latest build of Ubuntu Linux (yes, I installed it and am dual booting it on my desktop - much, much better than my previous Linux experience but will not be replacing Windows for me anytime soon).

      Regardless of your opinion of Muller, Apple, Microsoft, or whoever the fact is Lodsys is nothing more than a patent troll - they are going after these small devs to establish a precedent and once they have that (if successful) THEN they will go line their pockets via Apple, Microsoft, and anyone else who's software uses an upgrade button.
      athynz
  • Apple will have to get into this eventually.

    Adam Engst has a great post, http://tidbits.com/article/12174, about how the in-app purchase functionality is part of the SDK, and Apple specifically state that it owns the code [b]and[/b] prohibits affiliated developers from making deals regarding the IP. So, Apple [i]has[/i] to get involved.

    If it was something small, Apple might be tempted to leave some small developers "swinging in the wind", but this is someone claiming to have patented something that Apple explicitly says is its IP [b]and[/b] is a core part of the functionality of a significant part of iOS. The question is if Apple will generate some serious goodwill among the developer community by coming into this soon rather than later, which [i]will[/i] happen eventually.
    matthew_maurice
  • RE: What Lodsys wants from iOS developers

    What Lodsys wants from iOS developers is money and to establish a precedent. Once they have this then they can go after anyone else who's software uses an upgrade button such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Adobe...

    Right now IMHO they are not that confident that they actually have a case - I say this because they did not initially reveal who they were to the targeted developers in their initial messages and that they are going after those who more than likely do not have a huge (or any sort of) legal department at their disposal.
    athynz
    • RE: What Lodsys wants from iOS developers

      @athynz

      [i]What Lodsys wants from iOS developers is money and to establish a precedent.[/i]

      Getting a few checks from some small developers doesn't set a precedent. Only suing and winning (or losing) well set a legal precedent, and precedents have been overturned before.





      :)
      none none
  • patent trolls are killing small software developers, one patent at a time

    One day soon, one app will require so many licenses it will not make economic sense to build programs. These guys will kill the industry.
    themarty