OMG! Cross promotion in "More Games" violates Lodsys' patent too!

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by epicforce, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. epicforce

    epicforce Well-Known Member

    Got a letter from Lodsys few weeks ago, claiming the "Get Full Version" link in our game iFighter 1945 is infringing their patent. The "Get Full Version" link is actually for the purchase of Super Laser: The Alien Fighter. 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.

    I wrote back and explained the situation to Lodsys and guess what I got from them this morning:

    This is just insane!!! I can't believe it! So if they make the patent description as vague as possible, they can interpret it in anyway they like?

    I'm totally shocked :eek:
     
  2. MidianGTX

    MidianGTX Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2009
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    The dude's name is Harry Snodgrass.


    ...
     
  3. Arashi541

    Arashi541 Well-Known Member

    Imagine the hell that kid must have gone through in middle and high school.....thats probably why he wanted a career in law:D
     
  4. Pamx

    Pamx Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
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    Now that Apple has intervened in relation to some of the Lodsys lawsuits, I think you would do best to contact Apple to take advice. Hopefully, if they're on the case, you won't have to spend cash on instructing your own solicitors.

    If you negotiate directly with Lodsys at this stage, you could not only complicate things for yourself, but also for other developers caught up in this mess.
     
  5. stonery

    stonery Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2011
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    Neverland
    I was shocked too.:eek:
     
  6. BravadoWaffle

    BravadoWaffle Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Seriously... Harry Snodgrass?? Are we absolutely sure he's not some Nigerian scammer?

    But yea, contact Apple's legal department and apprise them of the situation. Hopefully they can advise you on what to do next.
     
  7. MetashapeGames

    May 6, 2010
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    What's fishy in this situation is you can't measure the cross promotion regarding revenue for taking a license.

    Some of their - how you call them in the US ? - patents - are running out in April 2012.

    Contact Apple.
     
  8. Shaz

    Shaz Well-Known Member

    I have a patent for 'use of images, words or any other suggestive method that may encourage a user to possibly at some stage think about purchasing an application on a mobile electronic device'.

    So if you have an icon for your app i demand that you pay me 1% of your revenue to license my patent.

    Are we all agreed?
     
  9. blitter

    blitter Well-Known Member

    Thought I would point out that all countries have scammers.
     
  10. kohjingyu

    kohjingyu Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2009
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    Singapore
    I wouldn't be worried, these guys can't win Apple :)
     
  11. antireality

    antireality Member

    Mar 11, 2011
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    graphics driver monkey
    Kingston Upon Thames, UK
    I have a patent entitled 'a process, mechanism, or action that invokes a consequence or reaction that is of an equal and or opposite magnitude to the initial action '

    so I win. When is my paycheque coming?
     
  12. iamflimflam1

    iamflimflam1 Active Member

    Mar 14, 2009
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  13. epicforce

    epicforce Well-Known Member

    I believe the email is legitimate. His email contact is [email protected].

    His email signature is:

    Harry Snodgrass
    Licensing Agent

    Lodsys, LLC
    505 East Travis Street
    Suite 207
    Marshall, TX 75670
    United States
    903-472-5338

    And also, the first person from Lodsys who contacted us was the CEO:

    Mark Small
    CEO
    Lodsys LLC
    903.935.3202
    [email protected]

    He actually sent an express mail using Fedex to our Hong Kong office.
     
  14. epicforce

    epicforce Well-Known Member

    Another quick update:

    We contacted Apple's representative in the Asia Pacific area and was told that Apple could take care of the IAP related stuff with Lodsys only. There are similar cases like ours reported by other developers too. Since we're just putting buttons with URL and not using any Apple's API, this mechanism is not covered by Apple. Basically we are on our own to handle the matter and the suggestion was to remove the URL to be on the safe side :(
     
  15. jogo

    jogo Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2011
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    So house ads are not allowed either?
     
  16. Sinecure Industries

    Sinecure Industries Well-Known Member

    Haha... Snodgrass. Tell them they can't patent a link, which is what it is, no? Freaking Snodgrass... man.
     
  17. Pamx

    Pamx Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
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    That fosspatents blog sums up the situation well. You can either give in to the extortion by paying for a licence or remove the link. The cost of arguing the point in court will be huge, even if you win.

    Leave it to the big boys to fight Lodsys - eventually they will be beaten.
     
  18. otggamer

    otggamer Well-Known Member

    Jul 10, 2009
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    "I trust that this has clarified the matter"

    What???!!!

    I'm more confused than I was before reading his lawyer-speak diatribe.

    How Lodsys got an enforceable patents for something so basic is astonishing.
    These patent trolls need to be stopped.
     
  19. Deth4U2

    Deth4U2 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2009
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    Maybe one should consult an attorney. Mueller is not an attorney and taking his advice could be legally dangerous.
     
  20. Pamx

    Pamx Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2009
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    #20 Pamx, Jul 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
    What Lodsys are doing is nothing short of mafia-style extortion, ie 'pay up or you'll be sorry'.

    It particularly pisses me off because it's obvious to everyone that their patent should not be enforceable but the cost of going to court to have that confirmed is prohibitive.

    I certainly hope they get what's coming to them.

    @Deth4U2 - Good point. But I'm a lawyer & there's no cheap, risk-free way of fighting this.
     

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