If you've never heard of This American Life before, it's never too late to start listening. TAL is a radio show produced by WBEZ and hosted by Ira Glass. You can listen to it by visiting their web site, subscribe in iTunes, or download the This American Life for the iPhone [$2.99] or for the iPad [$4.99]. Each show centralizes around a particular theme, which is explored over the course of an hour through various "acts" which consist of stories often told as first person narratives which are sometimes followed up with a brief interview. It's fantastic show, with a mood that varies widely depending on the topic ranging from incredibly somber to remarkably humorous, with tons of variance in between.

Why This American Life is relevant to the TouchArcade audience today is because their most recent episode, "When Patents Attack" focuses on patent trolls and does an absolutely fabulous job of demystifying all of the confusing US patent law that gives these patent holders the power to relentlessly sue so many people. Recently, Lodsys has been harassing iOS developers with patent claims on in-app purchase, as well as "more games" links inside of iOS titles, and they even get a brief mention in the show.

If you've found yourself following the various Lodsys drama but don't necessarily understand all the nitty gritty how's and why's of what's happening, you'll be totally up to speed after listening to this episode. Heck, if you like it, listen to other episodes, they're all worth your time.

  • Anonymous

    Love This American Life.  Noone else out there can tackle any subject (no matter what or how dull)  and make it as entertaining as Ira Glass and his crew!
    I had been hoping they would do something on this subject for a while.

  • Larrybeo

    Nice work Eli, This American Life is a class act show. All should listen.

  • Adams Immersive

    Interesting to know more about the people hiding behind Lodsys!

    (And TAL is the only podcast I subscribe to! I keep them all and catch up later.)

  • Adams Immersive

    Interesting to know more about the people hiding behind Lodsys!

    (And TAL is the only podcast I subscribe to! I keep them all and catch up later.)

  • Shrugemoff

    If Apple can prove that this kind of technology was used before them, then the patents that Lodsys says it owns would be invalid and there would be no suit that they could file.

  • nizy

    Very interesting podcast there. I had no idea that the patents Lodsys now owns were in fact owned by intellectual ventures, which is likely where Apple licensed them. It's also interesting that Lodsys' address is the same as that of Oasis, who themselves are closely tied to IV. I wouldn't be at all surprised if both are shell companies still owned by IV, used to mask their patent trolling from their public image. The more I hear about all these guys, the more dodgy it all sounds.

    Also, I love the way the guy compares IV to mafia protection - genius!

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