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Lodsys claims patents cover cross-promotional app links

updated 11:50 am EDT, Wed July 13, 2011

Says 'elicited perception' important factor

Lodsys is now claiming that its patents cover cross-promotional links in apps, not just in-app purchases, according to one developer. The creator of iFighter 1945, EpicForce, remarks that several weeks ago, it received a letter stating that a "Get Full Version" link in the game violates a Lodsys patent. "The 'Get Full Version' link is actually for the purchase of Super Laser: The Alien Fighter," EpicForce writes. "This is just a 'cross promotion' and I think almost every developer is doing it. It's neither an In-App purchase nor a 'Lite to Full' conversion."

EpicForce says that it wrote back to Lodsys explaining the situation, but that it just recently received a response from a Harry Snodgrass, identified as Lodsys' licensing agent. "The patent we sent a claim chart for has a claim that is directed at eliciting from a user, through a user interface presented by the product or service, a perception of the user of the product or service," part of Snodgrass' letter reads.

"The patent specification sets forth many different types of perceptions and how they may be elicited," it continues. "One of those is through interactive services and transactions. Specifically, a perception that can be elicited is the desire of the user to indicate their desire to purchase something that is related to or complementary to the product or service.

"In this specific case, the perception being elicited through the offer to the user to buy 'Super Laser: The Alien Fighter' through the interface presented by iFighter 1945 is, 'Do you find our games valuable enough to buy another game we think you are interested in from us?'. The elicited perception is returned to you (you are the vendor of both iFighter and Super Laser) through the revenue you receive from the app store for the purchase of the new game."

Lodsys' definition of the patent could have broad implications. Although only one developer is known to have been targeted in this way so far, it could mean a much wider number of developers will be served with legal threats in the future. Apple has motioned to intervene on behalf of people selling in the App Store, but Google has yet to come to the rescue of Android developers. Lodsys is also in the process of suing a number of higher-profile companies, such as Adidas, Best Buy, CVS and Sam's Club (Walmart).

by MacNN Staff



  1. doctor9

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is all ridiculous!

    Who the h*** out there has the patent to breathing air? Pretty sure I've not paid my royalties on that yet.


  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Erase Lodsys

    Lodsys' patents need to all be invalidated and the company forcEd to pay the legal fees of all those it sued.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So any upsell is in violation?

    Fast food vendors do it all the time; how can this be patented?

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Cartoon character

    Who is this Harry Snodgrass? His name sounds like a character in a comic strip, one that's always having bad things happen to him. And note his jargon-riddled speech about a "perception" being "elicited." I wonder if he talks to his wife and kids in this patent application jargon. Probably.

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what a load of shiit...

    "The elicited perception" , my friend, is also known as Advertising.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Erase Lodsys

    Lodsys' patents need to all be invalidated and the company forcEd to pay the legal fees of all those it sued.

    So a company has patents that they're defending, so they must be erased? Gee, must be nice to just make outright decisions without any facts.

    And note that these patents are so lame that Apple decided it was safer to license their use rather than fight them. There must be something behind them.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What it sounds like is EpicForce is dealing in false advertising. Having a link in their game for 'the full version', which turns out to be a completely different program?

    Or it was probably construed by Lodsys as an attempted workaround of their patent by using a different name or scheme.

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