iOS Devs Hit with Lawsuits from Patent Troll Over In-App Purchases

A couple App Store developers have received lawsuits from Lodsys, a company claiming in-app purchases and ‘upgrade’ buttons are theirs. The company has previously filed patent lawsuits against printer companies such as HP, Canon, Brother, and Samsung.

Rather than going after Apple, Lodsys is targeting developers directly. Rob Gloess of Computer LogicX, makers of Mix & Mash had this to say to MacRumors:

Our app, Mix & Mash, has the common model of a limited free, lite, version and a full version that contains all the features. We were told that the button that users click on to upgrade the app, or rather link to the full version on the app store was in breach of US patent no 7222078, we couldn’t believe it, the upgrade button!?!

The Lodsys Patent number 7222078, is described as:

Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Unites of A Commodity Across a Network (Abelow, Daniel H.)

Daneil Abelow is the founder of Lodsys and his client lists include Cisco, Harvard University, IBM, and the IRS. Four patents are listed on their website. One of his patent descriptions list the following, which is what is in question right now:

  • sell upgrades or complimentary products

  • The legal threats weren’t only targetting one developer. Cult of Mac reports James Thomson, the developer behind PCalc also ended up receiving a similar threat, but he didn’t go out and name the company targeting him. It appears Lodsys is also behind this second lawsuit. James has contacted Apple for guidance in this matter.

    This is interesting Lodsys is going after developers instead of Apple. Maybe because it knows it doesn’t stand a chance against Apple’s cut-throat legal team?

    [MacRumors, Cult of Mac]