Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th May 2011 16:15 UTC, submitted by john
Legal This is certainly worth a meagre +1 in my book: patent troll Lodsys has actually taken the time to answer some of the concerns on the web regarding its legal threats to several small-time iOS developers. There's some interesting stuff in there.
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Still fsckd up
by molnarcs on Mon 16th May 2011 16:34 UTC
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

Well, they do have good answers to most questions pertaining to how they engage with alleged infringers. They don't, however, have a good answer to the question "aren't those patents f--king obvious?" although they have the longest answer to that. It was a real pain reading through it, I advise against reading it unless you want your head explode. Here is the short summary, paraqraph by paragraph:

They start off with a lecture of what IP is (1)
Dan Abelow is a great inventor. (2)
Off topic analogies (oil industry ffs!) (3)
History lesson (4)
More irrelevant examples (Apple's R&D costs) (5)
Buzzwords galore ("in a multi-function world blah blah (6)
Agriculture, mining, radio (more nonsense) (7)

They are still scumbags for wanting to charge for something as obvious as an in-application upgrade BUTTON. They start their blog with whining about the threats and bile they received - well, they deserve every single bit of it.

Edited 2011-05-16 16:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Still fsckd up
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 16th May 2011 16:48 in reply to "Still fsckd up"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

well, they deserve every single bit of it.


Including the death threats?

Wtf.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by f0dder on Mon 16th May 2011 17:40 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
f0dder Member since:
2009-08-05

Including the death threats, yes.

I'm generally not a big fan of such things, but threatening to sue (and thus causing financial ruin) to small-time developers isn't really that far off a death threat IMHO.

Heck, if somebody put their money where their mouth is, perhaps that would work as a ever-so-small deterrent against other patent trolls.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by Gone fishing on Mon 16th May 2011 18:31 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

" well, they deserve every single bit of it.


Including the death threats?

Wtf.
"

Thats a shame - seriously my heart bleeds for them

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by molnarcs on Mon 16th May 2011 22:48 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

" well, they deserve every single bit of it.


Including the death threats?

Wtf.
"
You can't be serious Thom... I shall introduce you to <drumroll> The Internet. Ever read comments on youtube videos btw? Or you really think that these are serious threats? IF they exist at all - we have nothing but a blogpost full of drama, bleeding of hypocrisy. BTW, the story just hit The Guardian - and yes, it's not only me but programmers as well who point out that it's a bit hypocritical of them to paint themselves as the victims. And talking about death threats is a very effective way of doing that... can't believe you fall for it.

Edited 2011-05-16 22:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by lordepox on Tue 17th May 2011 08:16 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
lordepox Member since:
2010-04-14

Thomas, unfortunately death threats are an American default reaction to anything deemed assinine.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Still fsckd up
by pantheraleo on Mon 16th May 2011 16:59 in reply to "Still fsckd up"
pantheraleo Member since:
2007-03-07

They are still scumbags for wanting to charge for something as obvious as an in-application upgrade BUTTON.


You do realize, there is a lot of technology behind that button right? Surely you are not so naive to to think that if you add a button to your application and label it "Upgrade" that you automatically get upgrade functionality provided by magic unicorns and rainbows? Obviously, someone had to create the technology that allows the upgrading to happen. And that's what the patent is about... They did not patent an upgrade button.

Edited 2011-05-16 17:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by Calipso on Mon 16th May 2011 17:17 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

The technology behind the button is written by the individual programmer. Unless of course somehow every implementation of an Upgrade button is using the actual code that these guys wrote. Highly doubt it though.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by looncraz on Mon 16th May 2011 18:38 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24


U.S. Patent 5999908

Customer-based product design module.


This patent deals with a product which phones-home due to certain events. The patent covers stored user alerts, stored user data, recognition of triggers, then sending that data back to a server so someone can look at it to help the client.

Any application which can phone home information about the user, user statistics, or error reports will violate this patent.

It was filed Sep 19, 1997.

I believe prior art exists in the server market by I.B.M..


U.S. Patent # 7222078

Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Unites of A Commodity Across a Network.


This patent is generically worded it is hard to make sense of it. Basically, it is an in-application survey.

Patent filed 12/10/2003. I have prior art in this category with the yellowTAB Zeta Updater and the registration application [neither publicly used]. Feb-Apr, 2002.

The patent naturally makes it sound more advanced than it is. But it is nothing more than a survey process spread out into action points with flow diagrams.

The other patents are just as stupid and obvious.

The wording and the actual patent filing are all to which Abelow may law claim.

I may take it upon myself to challenge these patents, but I'm pretty broke & lazy, so that'll probably never transpire.

--The loon

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by Alfman on Mon 16th May 2011 18:53 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

pantheraleo,

"You do realize, there is a lot of technology behind that button right? ... Obviously, someone had to create the technology that allows the upgrading to happen. And that's what the patent is about... They did not patent an upgrade button."

The steps required to upgrade a piece of software are much more trivial than you make them out to be.

Launch upgrade process.
Download newest version.
Verify integrity.
Uninstall old version.
Copy/extract new binaries.
Register/configure new settings.
Viola, done.

Sure, individual apps have differing installation steps, but it's ludicrous to claim that developers could not figure out the steps to upgrading their own software without the help of Lodsys patents - even back in 1999.

Their contribution is 100% useless. As with all patent trolls, their goal is to tax software developers, not protect their own products.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by snorkel2 on Mon 16th May 2011 19:26 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
snorkel2 Member since:
2007-03-06

Actually, there is not that much to the code behind a button like that and it can be implemented in a multitude of ways, some very simple and some a bit more complex. It can be as simple as returning a code that unlocks part of the program. It doesn't have to download or install anything, though it could do that as well. There are tons and tons of desktop shareware application developers who also have a upgrade button.

The thing is when this guy came up with this idea it was not even possible to do so as the internet was in it's infancy. I highly doubt he had anything that worked, he just patented a idea with the hopes that someday the technology would allow the creation of such a idea.

It just goes to show how messed up software patents are.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by eantoranz on Mon 16th May 2011 20:14 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
eantoranz Member since:
2005-12-18

That is precisely the problem. You don't have to really "invent" the technology to perform the update. You just have to "think" of it and put it on paper and send it to the USPTO and pray that the person who gets it for revision be a bit clueless on the obviousness of the idea and thinks it's "original", which is quite different. And that's sick... because then the people who don't actually do something productive (like sitting down to actually program how to make the upgrade button work) but sits down to _think of something_ (and just that) will be the ones who will make a profit. See the difference? One person _thinks_ of the idea while the other one _does/makes_ things out of it... and which one gets to collect from the idea? Sick, sick, sick.

Edited 2011-05-16 20:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Still fsckd up
by molnarcs on Mon 16th May 2011 22:53 in reply to "RE: Still fsckd up"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

"They are still scumbags for wanting to charge for something as obvious as an in-application upgrade BUTTON.


You do realize, there is a lot of technology behind that button right? Surely you are not so naive to to think that if you add a button to your application and label it "Upgrade" that you automatically get upgrade functionality provided by magic unicorns and rainbows? Obviously, someone had to create the technology that allows the upgrading to happen. And that's what the patent is about... They did not patent an upgrade button.
"

You mean code? Yes, a few lines, which are, of course, protected by copyright laws. The issue here is software patents, which are generally a bad idea, but this one is obnoxious being so obvious as it is. Or do you seriously believe that without the hard work of Dan Abelow we wouldn't have in-app software update buttons? You can't possibly say that with a straight face... It is more likely that 99.99% of programmers who actually created the technology in individual products (think hundreds of thousands if not millions of apps) never heard the name and had no idea the patent even existed. That's the problem.

Edited 2011-05-16 22:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Still fsckd up
by karunko on Tue 17th May 2011 08:50 in reply to "Still fsckd up"
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

They are still scumbags for wanting to charge for something as obvious as an in-application upgrade BUTTON.


The way I see it, the real scumbags are the people granting patents that should be reject with a big WTF note and, possibly, a fine for wasting everybody's time.


RT.

Reply Parent Score: 1