The Internet is on fire lately after several indie iOS developers received notices of infringement giving them 21 days to respond. The patent that these developers are being accused of infringing is US Patent 7222078 and it vaguely covers the in-app purchase or upgrade process. This sort of patent lawsuit is really worrying because mobile developers in general don’t make a lot of money and cutting into these revenues could stifle the software market. According to the patent firm Lodsys, they would be seeking 0.575% of US revenue. Here is the official statement:
In the case of an Application doing an in-application upgrade (and only this scenario), Lodsys is seeking 0.575% of US revenue over for the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage. So on an application that sells US$1m worth of sales in a year, the licensee would have an economic exposure of $5,750 per year.