Indie iOS Developers Targeted with Legal Action for Patent Infringement

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Reports are circulating that several iOS developers are being served legal notices for violations of patent infringement in the Apple App Store. What’s worrisome is that the plaintiff, Lodsys, is bypassing Apple and its daunting legal infrastructure and going straight after the vulnerable indie parties.

The patent in question concerns “lite” versions of apps like PCalc and Mix & Mash, which utilize Apple’s in-house “Upgrade Now” button that links users back to the App Store, where they can then purchase a premium version.

The plaintiff is claiming that  the “Upgrade Now” button is actually in violation of US patent number 7222078, submitted by one Daniel H. Abelow, who reportedly sold the patent to LodSys in 2004. See the full patent here.

I have a feeling that LodSys’ bullying of the indies (such as PCalc’s James Thomson, whose tweet is above) is a tactical thing that they’ll undoubtedly use to mount pressure onto Apple, who will probably be hit in a separate lawsuit. But we’ll see how this plays out.

We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

(via Cult of Mac)