In a word, it’s a shame. Now, I don’t know any more than you fine folks, but, to my mind, this is nothing more than a predatory act carried out by a bunch of patent trolls. Lodsys, the company threatening lawsuits against indie iOS developers if they don’t cough up a licensing deal, a lump […]
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My Thoughts on Lodsys

apples-app-store-icon-o.jpgIn a word, it’s a shame. Now, I don’t know any more than you fine folks, but, to my mind, this is nothing more than a predatory act carried out by a bunch of patent trolls. Lodsys, the company threatening lawsuits against indie iOS developers if they don’t cough up a licensing deal, a lump of (albeit small amount) of money. The patents in dispute regard download links, and in-app purchasing.

Notice that Lodsys really isn’t going after any of the bigger developers (as far as we know), such as EA or X. No, instead they’re going after smaller shops such as the Iconfactory, who couldn’t survive as easily with a lawsuit against them. It boils down to legal extortion. Lodsys knows larger developers can either pay or deal with the suit, so they’re easy pickings when the time is right. As for the smaller guys, they think they can ream them, in an “or else”-type situation wherein the threat of force might be enough the jerk money out of them.

So that leads me to Apple. Where are they in all of this? They claim they are looking into it, but nothing is being done that would be visible to the public. Which, that shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Apple. Granted, there may be little Apple can legally do about it. It is after all, between the developers and Lodsys.

However Apple has to do something about this, at least as an example. I’m not saying Lodsys alone will run all of the iOS developers off. No, there’s still too much money to be made. But others that follow in Lodsys’ footsteps could bring the iOS platform in it’s knees. Developers will flee the platform due to the threat of a suit. If the developers leave, Apple is left with a withering platform, and then their bottom line is left hurting as well.

Again, this isn’t likely to happen. The big developers can handle themselves, but the little guys, the one man shops, can’t. Hopefully Apple realizes this, and does something, anything to quell Lodsys, because I wouldn’t trust our legal system to shake things out fairly in the end.

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