back to article Angry Birds, other iPhone games shotgunned by Lodsys

Rovio, makers of crack-like mobile game Angry Birds, is facing a patent claim from Lodsys – the patent-holder suing* Apple – and its third-party developers for alleged infringements. The Finnish firm is not replying to our emails, but told the BBC it had yet to hear from Lodsys. Part of the Lodsys' claims against Apple and …

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Happy

Ah!

Ah, so they are claiming against the big players in the pocket game market, hmmm, wonder why that might be?!

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, do grow up

If I buy a car that's in violation of some wanky patent somewhere I don't get sued. Unless Rovio actually contributed code to Apple, they've got nothing to to with this shite.

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FAIL

You don't understand the patent system then

The problem with patents is that you _CAN_ get sued.

In reality, the manufacturer of your car probably indemnifies you against claims, and you're small fry so no-one would bother but the system allows them to do it.

It's not copyright so Rovio don't have to have contributed code, patents cover methods not specific code.

All that said, you're quite right that this is a wanky patent being exploited by a troll. No wonder the Guardian were reporting that developers were beginning to avoid US based App Stores.

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Silver badge

@AC

"The problem with patents is that you _CAN_ get sued."

Really? Worldwide or US only? It just doesn't seem practical to me in that if I buy a Casio watch that contains infringing technology and that model has sold millions of copies - best of luck suing as I didn't infringe anything personally. Sounds like US law to me, in which case who gives a shit?

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Facepalm

Re: Patent System

Am I the only one who thinks software should be copyrighted, not patented? (After all, it is *written*, right?)

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Trollface

More patent trolls

Just what we need! And just what the app devs really like doing. Fighting off shitty, pointless patent claims. Fucking stupid.

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Silver badge

Troll, troll, troll your patent gently down the (money) stream

Patent troll. 'Nuff said.

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Mushroom

Apple has the ca$h

...to buy Lodsys and just kick them into the long grass...

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Rob
Mushroom

Moves the shit from one side of the fence to the other

Not a great idea cause Apple will only be removing itself and it's developers from the Patent allegations and itself become the Patent Troll as it upholds the grievance against Google and it's developers.

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Mushroom

Oh FFS

Any company which makes no products but deliberately sits on patents until an "infringer" has been successful, then tries to shake them down for licencing fees, should have their patents invalidated and offices razed to the ground, as a warning to others.

What, too harsh? I think not. These greedy fucking morons are toxic parasites. End of.

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PT
Pirate

Bring rope.

I agree - no patent should be defensible unless it has been "reduced to practice" by the actual grantee or assignee, at least as a prototype, though with something abstract like a software patent or business method it's rather hard to prove whether this has happened or not. It's an attractive ides but it's never going to happen that way by law, though I imagine if things get much worse the razing of offices might one day be carried out by Vigilance Committees representing the shareholders of the companies under attack.

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RE: Oh FFS

Look there's no need for such harsh talk. The system is at fault not the few who make use of it.

There should indeed be calculated a time that a company may have this patent prior to really manufacturing a product with that patent. Or that patent should be either revoked OR sold. Again with re-newed time prior to manufacturing. But i guess it's just not all that simple.

I mean; it might take 3 months to manufacture a product from a certain invention or 3 years or even 9 years. Who's gonna tell who that 3 months is acceptable but 9 years is too long? okay 9 yeasr IS too long. :-)

Perhaps a better system (to at least protect local economy and encourage local competition) is a system of shared patents. Whereby patents can be shared amongst 2 or 3 (US-)companies. Couple this with enforcement of using local workforce to manufacture and sell the final products (perhasp only locally). Thus creating local competition and opportunity for local economic growth.

Ok I admit with such a sytem I'm shielding the US market and US products from Europe (and other economic communities). They can create a similar system. Agreements can be made to import and export (a limited set) of products. And with this we're back to basics. How trade started. This does mean less items in shop for a majority of products but at least US products will be made by US workforce again and European products will be made by Europeans again.

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Pirate

Far simpler.

Just get the yanks to stop creating patents on things that don't exist as physical objects. Software just like literature should only have copyright.

Most of these software and business patents are about as valid as trying to patent: "using a noun before or after a verb in a sentence".

As Europe still does not permit software patents, perhaps we need some company in the EU to sue a Yank company for that sues them for intimidation/extortion, I would personally set all such fines in the EU courts to be double+costs of any US court findings.

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Mushroom

If you've not made the product....

You shouldn't get the patent, be it a car or a piece of software, patenting a concept should be outlawed thus increasing the incentive for businesss to invest in development so someone else doesn't beat them to market.

It's called competition

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Silver badge

The exception to this...

If you've come up with a really good idea, patenting it and then trying to interest a manufacturer in making it under licence should be OK. Actively attempting to get it made is acceptable behaviour, and is often the only way some products get to market.

Indeed, some large companies won't talk to you about your idea unless you've at least applied for the patent because one of their fears is that they are already working on the same thing (not unreasonable) and are further advanced, which opens them to accusations of stealing ideas. However, if you've got a relevant patent then you're a player in the game even if they have gotten further towards practical implementation.

Anyway, the US patent system is terminally broken and it needs lots of trolls like Lodsys to abuse it and finally bury it.

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RE: If you've not made the product....

Come on guys, don;t you get it?

The US patent system is NOT designed to encourage competition. It's originally designed to protect a subset of US companies.

Some guys are using that faulty system for their own good. But sometimes the outside company DOES breach these pattents. I mean come on, the Galaxy S is a pure ripp-off of an iphone/ipad. It even LOOKS the same. They've made it appear excactly so less tech-savvy ppl would buy that somewhat cheaper Samsung product. The Reg-posters (most of them) are aware that a SGS is completely different then an iPhone. But many ppl CAN be fooled! In these cases the patent system should protect US company Apple from an outside threat. (And in my opinion ban the sales of SGS in US unless Samsung make it distinctivly different looking).

The patent system should be revised, agreed, but simply disbanding it is not a good idea IMHO.

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Thumb Up

Only in their Android game?

Well that'd be interesting to prove.

I wonder if this claim is based in a reality that Lodsys believes they are are only infringing on one system, or based more on "We don't want Apple to step up to defend Rovio as well, so we'll only go after the Android version".

Has the goog stepped up to the plate yet to defend developers, last I heard only Apple had.

Thumbs up because if we were in the Colosseum, I know what my verdict would be. Let the heads roll!

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Stop

Don't ship to the US!!

the whole problem will go away very quickly if we all just stop shipping our hard work to US customers.

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RE: Don't ship to the US!!

Yes indeed, but all these non-US companies have the false perception that the US is their "largest consumer market" and is "important to gain worldwide marketshare". Although the average American is loosing income due to the present recession and will "consume" less. Which in turn get diminishing returns from the American consimer markets and hence won't boost profits at all.

The thing is that the US is indeed the largest english speaking community. I mean over 300.000.000 potential consumers (at least 5 times more than the UK). That does count for something. While europeans might have the largest income per head, they also have the most taxes in the world AND that market is divided within several non-english speaking communities. With protectionistic laws between the various states. This not only add costs because of localisation of your product but make it far dificult to adhere to the various (contradicting) laws between states.

The same problem excists in both US and Europe. Average income per head is shrinking due to taxes, higher living costs, their own incompetence to work together, their incompetence to protect their own labourforce and the mess they have created that is only profitable for global companies and currently china but worse for the industrialised world (read: US and Europe/Rusia).

Like I said before: We're doomed!

But we might last a few days longer if don;t ship to the US :-)

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Manu T

Couple of points.

If you are a company incorporated in part of the EU then the barrier to trade (protectionism) that you speak of does not exist, or is easily remedied through the courts, as the whole point of the EU experiment is free trade within the zone. Taxes for corporations are not a problem - just ask Google, Amazon, eBay et al.

The US has the largest English speaking community? I'd wager there are an awful lot of Americans that don't speak English due in part to the land of opportunity angle attracting plenty of economic migrants. Also, you'll find a fair few Europeans speak very good English whilst it may be considered their second language.

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Also

Other markets may be still considered emerging but they buying consumer products right now and are vast. If the choice is either the United States OR or the rest of the world I'm afraid the Rest of the World wins hands down. Most European countries learned that insular-ism means a long slow death. It looks to me like the US is determined to learn the same lesson the hard way.

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FAIL

Thanks for creating...nothing but trouble

Patent trolls like Lodsys area taking advantage of a system which was to reward INVENTORS, not opportunistic companies, from profiting from their inventions. Sure, other companies use their resources to purchase patents and then at least attempt to make some product that benefits society, but picking up patents in an attempt to milk money from those who actually create things is ridiculous. Anyone interested in joining me help Angry Birds fight this should look here.

http://info.articleonepartners.com/blog/bid/62864/Help-Article-One-Save-the-Angry-Birds

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Thanks for creating...nothing but trouble

Eh.. yopu probably mean:

"Patent trolls like Lodsys area taking advantage of a system which was to PROTECT INVENTORS, not opportunistic companies, from profiting from their inventions."

But yeah I agree with you. Can someone pleaze shot these morons?

If this is how opportunistic US-companies tries to revive their economy, goog luck!

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Thumb Down

Who patented the Abacus?

Because that's where this all started.

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lol at the patents

having read the patents in question they are so broad and vague they could almost be used to describe any client server interaction with a customer interactions via a UI.

Patents like this need to invalidated, come back when you have an actual product or invention, not some vague wording that can be twisted to describe many things that existed long before the patents were put in place. Stop killing innovation and making it hard for people actually producing something out there when all you do is sit on your hands producing nothing.

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