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Lodsys comments on iOS patent infringement, receives hate mail, death threats

Zach Honig
05.16.11
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We'd typically expect a plaintiff to remain mum with legal action pending, but in a bizarre twist, Lodsys has taken to its blog to defend its reputation -- or something. You may recall the patent holding firm's letter, sent to individual Apple iOS developers last week demanding licensing fees for a somewhat-obscure patent. Understandably, the letters and related coverage prompted a negative response from developers and supporters. Posts to the Lodsys blog may be in response to inappropriate emails received over the weekend, which include death threats and "hateful bile" sent to Mark Small, the firm's CEO. Click on through for full details.



Along with the expected 'we need to get paid too' post, other entries provide more context, and one even reveals the amount of compensation that Lodsys is requesting -- a figure that curiously enough hadn't even been shared with developers. The firm is seeking 0.575 percent of past, present, and future US revenue for apps that include in-app upgrade functionality. This translates to a very low figure for individual developers, but could represent significant revenue for Lodsys.

If developers do elect to pay up, that decision wouldn't come lightly, despite the meager amount. Here's what one developer told us:

We certainly don't have the financial resources to fight this battle on our own, and to be honest, I am not sure I even want to tie our company into an extended legal battle in any case. But then, neither do I want to set a legal precedent that will be used to hurt other developers.

Developers we've spoken to are expecting a response from Cupertino this week, but aren't clear on whether or not Apple's development agreement would even allow them to license the patent. We're not sure how long this will take to play out, but it isn't lookling like the quick win Lodsys might have been hoping for.
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