21
Jul
Android-Money

Well, it seems Lodsys has gotten a lot more gravitas in the last few months due to the success of its patent-trolling efforts. The company's legal reps have amended a complaint filed in the Eastern District of Texas (also known as the "rocket docket" district for the speediness and plaintiff-friendliness of its trials), and it's a doozy.

11-07-22 Lodsys allegations against Rovio

From Lodsys's Complaint

Lodsys has sued Rovio over Angry Birds for Android (and iPhone), along with Electronic Arts (EA), Atari, Square Enix, and Take-Two Interactive - and many others (37 total, in fact). The latter publishers were all sued for iPhone games.

11-07-21 Lodsys amended complaint header

This, in our book, says little for Lodsys's credibility. Filing a suit in the district where a win is easiest and quickest to obtain against such big players in the mobile game sphere doesn't say much for the confidence the patent clearinghouse troll has in its assertions. Why? Because it's clearly an attempt at intimidation. If Lodsys's claim makes it past the preliminary stages and a trial is scheduled, small developers across the world will be left with even more doubts about Google or Apple's ability to protect them from these extortionist activities.

A win for Lodsys at the trial court level wouldn't be out of the question - and such a decision on appeal could take many months, even years, to finally come down. Meaning the company would buy even more time to force smaller developers into unfair royalty agreements. But it seems Lodsys is finally picking on several companies its own size (or larger), which we find a little less "scumbaggy" than their current practice of sending threatening cease and desist letters.

We'll see how this all plays out in the coming months.

FOSS Patents

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • https://www.ubersoft.net Christopher Wright

    While I completely agree Lodsys is a patent-troll, I very strongly disagree that in the Eastern District of Texas is proof that they're not confident with their claims. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that no matter how strong your case, you'd always want to make sure it's heard in a courtroom where you have the greatest advantage. Even if a case is a slam-dunk, open-and-shut case, I would expect the Plaintiff's lawyers to try to get it put in the most favorable location and in front of the most sympathetic judge.

    • David Ruddock

      The ED of Texas is known for its plaintiff friendliness - as well as for a higher rate than average of overturned cases on appeal.

      Patent trolls file in this district all the time. It has nothing to do with making sure your case is "heard" - it has everything to do with ensuring it's heard quickly and decided by a jury that is more likely to come into the box friendly to your grievance.

      It's like lighting a fire under someone's ass - filing a case like this in CA would not leave it with a less thorough legal analysis or fair assessment. As you say, it is a tactical decision.

      I'm not saying it means Lodsys's case is *less* credible, it just hasn't gained any credibility whatsoever. It also draws into clear question their motivations, and the decision to file here I think reflects those ulterior motives.

      But I agree, it's not proof, and I didn't say it was - so much as it isn't bolstering their case in any way, shape, or form.

  • Bruce

    For some background, check out the story of George B. Selden, patent troll from 100 years ago. This patent lawyer collected royalties on cars for many years without ever building one. Eventually Ford defeated him in court.

  • JBO1018

    Patent trolls should give innovation a try. That and go die in a hole somewhere.

  • Chris

    man only in america can you sue for the dumbest shit and actually have a court that would listen to you. Guess thats why we are in the state that we are in.

    • Sketis

      This was kinda nice to see. I mean the way you ended it with "we" are in.

      I'm not American but I still felt it refreshing to read what you said from someone that actually lives in the country.

      To many people outside just complains without knowing anything, they just belive...

  • tman7510

    All this litigation is insane. Its getting to the point where no one will be able to make/create or innovate without getting sued. So basicaly if you are succesful you will have to pay someone anyone who pulls a patent out of their a$$

  • Spartan Tweed

    That's it. I won't publish any more of my apps in the US from now on. Too risky.

    • http://www.microsoft.com Bill Gates

      Just make them free in the US, and charge for it outside of the US.

  • AlexH

    Am I ignorant? or does it seem that Lodsys focuses on vague 'patents' that focus on end.goal?

    In my understanding of patents, if a company is selling a product that uses the same mechanisms to deliver a service/(a product uses the same coding to deliver a service) then they are infringing. If they find a different way to deliver the same service, why would you blame them?

    I want to know why Lodsys's extremely vague 'patents' seem to be carrying sooooooo much weight in court. Do they just have the best saleman [lawyer] on earth?

  • Lee

    If enough people unknowling infringe on a patent, the patent is invalid on the basis of its lack of novelty.

  • portnoyd

    Tort reform would be awesome right about now.

  • Sprinter

    This marks the rise of the I.P. litigation bottom feeders version of "Wall Street" melt down. Only difference is these patent trolls have way more sway and back doors to push their agenda through by taking advantage of loop holes in federal/state laws to accomplish lining their pockets.

  • Warren

    US patent laws need to be thrown out and completely rewritten. BTW I own the patent to typing so before anyone replies, PAY UP.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com Blade765

    They just need to select a bunch of US to be on the jury. Problem solved. Lodsys would NEVER win!!! An informed jury, while biased, would be GREAT in this case....

  • Darkseider

    This will be tossed out pretty quick. I you read through the patent it is empty and obvious. Kind of like trying to patent the steps for breathing. There is nothing to this other than saber rattling.

  • Simon Belmont

    Seriously, Lodsys? Wow, just wow.

    I wish that patent law could be fixed to evict trolls like this who poach on the innovations of others to fill their pockets. This stinks.

  • Storyteller Gellar

    Anyone on Lodsys' side ever see their website? Some "benefit" they provide by holding that patent. I'm gonna try and help AB fight this. The article I read on CNET talked about this company that is trying to stop this. Take a look if you're interested.
    http://info.articleonepartners.com/blog/bid/62864/Help-Article-One-Save-the-Angry-Birds

  • http://angrybirdsaddiction.com/ Bob

    Does Lodsys really have the intention of making their patented concept into an actual product? It looks like they are just trying to take advantage of their intellectual property right and make some money out of these big gaming companies.