With Apologies to Texas | CR 69

With Apologies to Texas | CR 69

Mike and Chris chew on the major problems patent trolls are creating for small and large development shops.

Then it’s a race to the bottom for software prices, and the guys have a few theories on what, if anything, developers can do to carve out a living.

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Unfortunately, Apple has just been booted out of court. As Ars Technica explains, the federal judge overseeing the Texas case ruled that Apple\’s motion only applies to seven specific app maker defendants — and Lodsys has just reached settlements with all seven.

As reported by GigaOm_, _Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) has filed a complaint in a Wisconsin federal court against Lodsys. The patent trolling company had apparently contacted Stewart\’s corporation, claiming that four of her iPad magazines infringed on a number of Lodsys patents and asking for $5,000 for each offending magazine to license the allegedly infringing technology. Unlike the small app developers that Lodsys typically preys on, however, Stewart\’s company isn\’t interested in playing ball. The civil action filed this week asks the court for a \”declaratory judgement\” against Lodsys — MSLO wants the court to affirm that none of its iPad magazines infringe upon any of Lodsys\’ patents.

The Personal Audio lawsuit that is furthest along is its case against CBS, NBC, HowStuffWorks, and TogiNet. It\’s scheduled for trial in 2014. TogiNet, the least-known defendant in that group, is based in Tyler, Texas. It seems likely that the company was added to Personal Audio\’s litigation to maintain venue in the Eastern District of Texas.

In May, the Electronic Frontier Foundation had a successful fund-raiser to fight Personal Audio\’s podcasting patent at the US Patent and Trademark Office. \”We\’re preparing a petition challenging the so-called \’podcast\’ patent and will be filing it soon,\” said EFF attorney Daniel Nazer.

After Realmac Software had released Clear for iOS 7 as a new paid app, the outcry from existing users quickly made them change their mind about the pricing model. Now they are offering the iOS 7 upgrade for free to existing Clear users on the iPhone, while only charging for the new universal app. This in turn caused other developers to complain about Realmac Software for giving in and participating in the downward price spiral.

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