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Small Devs Attacked Over In-App Purchase Button Patent 229

Posted by Soulskill
from the under-the-bridge dept.
Thornburg writes with this excerpt from a story at MacRumors: "Yesterday, we received word from Rob Gloess of Computer LogicX ... that he had received legal documents threatening a patent lawsuit over the use of an 'upgrade' button in the lite version of his application linking users to the App Store where they could purchase the full version. '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 patent in question was filed in December 2003 as part of series of continuations on earlier patent applications dating back to 1992. The patent is credited to Dan Abelow, who sold his extensive portfolio of patents to holding firm Lodsys in 2004. Lodsys is indeed the company issuing the threats of a lawsuit regarding the patent in question."
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Small Devs Attacked Over In-App Purchase Button Patent

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  • by uberjack (1311219) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:47PM (#36120922)
    I seriously doubt this type of an idiotic patent would fly in court. On the other side, given that this affects smaller developers who would rather not become entangled in lawsuits, this issue will likely not be handled for a while - at least not until larger companies become involved.
  • Major John Plaster (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DCFusor (1763438) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:51PM (#36120978) Homepage
    had a solution to "insurgent tax collectors and parasites".

    Check "The Ultimate Sniper".

    Soap and ballot boxes didn't avail. The slimebags will never stop till there is a penalty. Either suck it up or do something, all the whining hasn't accomplished anything.
  • Libertarians (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:54PM (#36121002) Homepage

    This is why we need Libertarians to control Congress and the White House so they will get rid of government (especially Federal government) supporting this kind of theft, and promote a fully Free Enterprise system where anyone can invent whatever they want and not worry about the government stealing it. Ron Paul officially announced his candidacy for President today. Let's find out if he is a true Libertarian or just some two-faced Republican and get him to take a side.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:54PM (#36121008)

    Or perhaps we ought to have a time out one patents, if they can't get their application through in a reasonable amount of time, then it gets denied. I find it hard to believe that something "invented" in 1992 really would take 12 years to go through the patent process without making some pretty ham fisted mistakes.

    It's almost as if they were wanting to give time for others to implement the patented idea in order to sue even more people than would otherwise be possible.

  • Bye guys (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:58PM (#36121074)

    You're a small company, they're a large company. They have powerful lawyers, you don't.

    They can pretty much sue you for anything, no matter how stupid and baseless it is.

    Sorry, this is the stupid way software patents are.

  • Re:Libertarians (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wjousts (1529427) on Friday May 13, 2011 @03:01PM (#36121104)

    Yeah, 'cos I'm sure with no government getting in the way, the big boys will all agree to play nice. Yes siree, can't see any problem with that.

    Patents aren't the problem, stupid patents are the problem.

  • Re:Libertarians (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday May 13, 2011 @03:05PM (#36121152) Journal

    And then when the poor rise up and kill all the wealthy who have used those principles to keep the money, deprive them of health care and anything approaching a just, decent society, you can ponder that using Libertarian principles to get rid of bad patent law is the equivalent of chopping off every man's penis to eliminate rape.

  • Re:Libertarians (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, 2011 @04:07PM (#36121732)

    Uhm, no. That's absurd.

    When the government was completely "hands-off" with corporations, we ended up with Standard Oil, who owned more than 30 cities. (yes, cities)

    The cities were wholly-owned. They owned the land, the buildings, they ran the stores, they forced workers to live in these homes and buy from these stores. They employed private "police" forces, who turned out to be thugs, but since they owned the police, nobody could do anything. One time the workers went on strike because of the terrible treatment and the private security forces opened fire on the crowd, and nobody could identify individual killers, so nobody went to trial for the murders.

    It was NOT all rosy and happy. So the government stepped in and things were MUCH better as a result.

    See, simply eliminating the government is absolutely ridiculous polemic at its very core.

    Sure, limiting its power, and downsizing... cool, all for it. But eliminating?

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.

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