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New lawsuit may render Lodsys app purchase patents invalid

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Wed June 8, 2011

May affect prospects for app developers

A Michigan company, ForeSee Results, has submitted a declaratory judgment lawsuit which could potentially render four Lodsys patents invalid. The latter outfit has sent letters to a number of technology companies, asserting a need for patent licenses. Lodsys made headlines recently by suing some mobile app developers over in-app purchases. ForeSee has not been sued, but is rather taking preemptive action on behalf of clients which have received assertion letters.

Three cited examples of ForeSee clients include Adidas, Best Buy and WE Energies. The new lawsuit was notably filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; this is "because Lodsys' Chief Executive Officer and sole employee resides in, and conducts business from, this Judicial District," according to ForeSee court documents. Lodsys is formally headquarted in eastern Texas, but this may only be to take advantage of the region's infamous pro-complainant court stance in patent infringement cases.

By suing in Illinois, ForeSee may be available to avoid having any cases against its clients decided in Texas. For any Lodsys suit filed in Texas ForeSee could simply request a transfer to Illinois, and likely win the ruling as a result of being first to file.

A ForeSee victory may have to be fast to help app developers. The District Court for the Eastern District of Texas operates relatively quickly, and some developers may not have the money to defend against Lodsys, regardless of whether or not arguments are valid. Apple and Google -- whose iOS and Android platforms are central to the dispute -- have yet to provide legal or financial help to defendants, even though in-app purchases may be covered by their legal arrangements.

[via Florian Mueller]




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    A hugely stupid loophole

    "The new lawsuit was notably filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; this is "because Lodsys' Chief Executive Officer and sole employee resides in, and conducts business from, this Judicial District," according to ForeSee court documents. Lodsys is formally headquarted in eastern Texas, but this may only be to take advantage of the region's infamous pro-complainant court stance in patent infringement cases."

    If you don't conduct business out of the registered headquarters, you should be required to refile the location of your headquarters for accuracy.

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +11

    which is worst

    patent trolls or their lawyers?

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Bwahahahaha!

    Good for ForeSee!

    I wonder if this has consequences for GPLv3, which has a vaguely similar knock-on effect. If it turned out that the phrasing of the GPL was ruled invalid, I would probably be unable to speak for laughter for at least a day.

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    The tech news is always more interesting

    if you don't pay any attention at all to news of various lawsuits.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    East Texas: where REAL judicial reform is needed

    it's somewhat inside baseball, but the conservative right wants to break up the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It's headquartered in San Francisco and it covers Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada and Washington.

    Right-wingers don't like the rulings that come out of this court and in order to get more conservative activist judges in charge of making rulings affecting conservative states like AZ and ID, they would like to split the Ninth Circuit in two.

    Seems to me that if they were truly interested in REAL judicial reform rather than more of the same partisan rigging of the courts that led to atrocious decisions like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, they'd first do something about the Eastern District of Texas.

  1. facebook_Christopher

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011

    +8

    Scumbags

    They're like the 6th grade bully picking on the 2nd graders instead of someone their own size. I hope these guys go the way of the SCO

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    wow

    Lodsys consists of 1 person? That's awesome.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    stupid headline

    The headline is more suggestive than truth. All this company did was file a competing lawsuit, asking for summary judgment. Yes, if it is approved, then it would throw out the patents (since that is what the judgment requests). But that's if it is approved. And since no client has been sued yet, not sure how you can ask for a judgment. Guess that's why the lawyers make all the money from these things, right.

    All they're really trying to do is get more clients to pay up and get on board, so that if they're sued, they can move the case out of TX. It doesn't help any of the companies that are currently under lawsuit.

    Finally, the result in Illinois would have little effect on TX. The TX judge can still find for Lodsys, regardless of whether the judgment in illinois (if they got one by then), since their different districts. All it will do is start an appeal process and make it drag out even longer.

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