updated 03:10 pm EDT, Mon August 1, 2011
'Appsterdam' team compensates for defense gaps
A new group has been organized to defend fellow independent app developers against Lodsys' patent lawsuits, as well as cases brought by other alleged patent trolls. Dubbed the Appsterdam Legal Defense Team, the group is the creation of developer Mike Lee. Initial help includes Michael McCoy, an intellectual property attorney licensed in California.
"We will let the patent trolls know: if you attack one indie, you attack all indies, and we will file every motion we can against you, we will attack your patents, and we will show you for the mafioso thugs you are," Lee claims in a blog post. "Legal action will be the start of our three-pronged attack. Next we'll take the fight to Washington, raising a wall of legislation against future attacks. Imagine a law that allows small software companies to opt out of the patent system."
The LDT's ultimate goal in the Lodsys matter is to pursue Intellectual Ventures, which Apple pays to license a patent currently held by Lodsys. IV and Lodsys are thought to be connected. Regarding Apple's attempted intervention on behalf of developers, Lee is pessimistic. "Apple has the luxury and history of moving very slowly -- they accepted a 60 day discovery, for example. Dozens of app makers could be destroyed by then. There is also good chance Apple can't actually sue Lodsys, since Apple is under contract by Intellectual Ventures and IV probably snuck indemnity in there."
The developer says he expects other developers to sign on soon. At present, plans involve setting up a contribution system for developers within the next two weeks.