Just read an article in ars technica that several US-based iOS app developers that use in-app purchase button features to get users to buy full feature versions of their apps have received legal threats of patent infringement from a patent troll named Lodsys.
“Just got hit by very worrying threat of patent infringement lawsuit for using in-app purchase in PCalc Lite. Legal docs arrived via fedex,” Thomson said on his Twitter account Friday morning. (Taken from ars technica)
Apple hasn’t responded at all (as usual) to these threats even tho it could potentially be very damaging to its developer eco-system and economy. It would have been interesting to see someone battle this out in a court room. As far as I’ve been able to figure out this is a “local” US thing, so it doesn’t look like it’ll hit anywhere outside the US, or eastern Texas for that matter i guess.
These threats should also rise some interest at the Google and Microsoft HQ with the potential to kneecap a large revenue stream for all the mobile OS vendors.
Funny enough there’s a state in the US that is well-known by patent trolling lawyers, and where they tend to hold their court. Marshall, in eastern Texas is the home of what is known as a federal court that often sides with the trolls. Read more about that in the Technology Review article “A Heaven for Patent Pirates”