Lodsys has been making headlines over the past few months as it has been sending letters to developers across iPhone, Android and now BlackBerry, saying the developers are infringing on its patents by using in-app payments. Let’s be clear about something before we continue: Lodsys does not design, code, build or engineer a single product. Lodsys simply owns a small number of vague patents and has been sending demand letters to dozens of large and small companies. Click through to continue reading about the first BlackBerry developer hit with a demand letter from Lodsys.
Lonely Turret by Rotten Ogre
Yissachar Radcliffe is a York University student that makes a BlackBerry PlayBook game called Lonely Turret. The app doesn’t even really use in-app payments and for some strange reason, Lodsys has started its first demand letter campaign on BlackBerry with this small company. The Lonely Turret app comes in two forms, a free app and a paid app. The two apps are separate and it’s not even a traditional in-app payment system.
This is a really interesting case as Apple and Google have both stepped in to help developers. RIM is notorious for having an inflated legal department that obsesses over EULAs and long legal documents associated with every part of their business. If an inflated legal department is meant to protect the company, then this is the time for that department to prove its worth. If RIM legal can step in and protect developers for the greater good of the company, then it will have proven itself as a department with the customer and business in mind. If RIM legal decides this isn’t their battle and leaves developers to fend for themselves, it would send a clear message to developers to not build software for the platform.
Thanks to Derek for the tip.