Tag: patent

Lodsys Patent Troll Hits First BlackBerry Developer – Will RIM Step Up?

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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.
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Poynt and WiLAN Announce Partnership to Distribute and License Patents

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Image via G&M

Poynt has announced a partnership with WiLAN that will see WiLAN assist Poynt in the licensing of Poynt’s portfolio of patents related to internet advertising. In Poynt Corporation’s patent portfolio are patents relating to advertising and location and being able to serve ads based on location context. This is a market that’s growing very quickly and becoming more important with the ubiquity of smartphones. WiLAN is a company that specializes in licensing rights to intellectual property and patents so the deal makes a lot of sense. WiLAN also has a lot of technology partners in the laptop and mobile space, so we may see some white label and embedded technology potential with this deal.

UPDATE: It’s also cool to note that Poynt has passed 8 million users across 7 countries.

iOS Developers Targeted With Patent Lawsuits For In-App Payment Use

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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.

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RIM Considers Another Bid for Nortel’s Patent Portfolio

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RIM is once again considering acquiring the patents for Nortel’s CDMA and LTE technologies. Control over these patents will help ward off costly and untimely lawsuits that seem to plague every big player in the mobile industry. The patents will also go into developing wireless products and services for the next generation of mobile connectivity.

The bid will be rivaling that of Google’s $900-million bid on the entire set of set of over 6000 wireless patents. Google has been trying to grow the size of its mobile patent portfolio ever since they acquired Android Inc. in 2005.

RIM has been fighting for these patents for a couple of years now and seems poised to grab a least a small piece of Nortel’s formidable mobile patent portfolio.

US Patent Office Issues Both Poynt and Where Similar Geofence Patents

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Today, Poynt announced that Poynt Corp. has been issued a patent for delivering location-based offers and coupons to smartphones based on GPS location and user profile. The patent, which Poynt says was originally claimed in 2000, enables Poynt to match users with relevant deals and coupons within any pre-defined geographic area (a geofence). The patent number is 7,870,229, and is described as:

“A network adapted to target an individual operating a microcomputer that is linked to an Internet to offer this individual goods or services appropriate to his needs that are available at a place within reach of the individual’s present location.”
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RIM Slaps Kik Messenger with Patent Lawsuit

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We knew this day would come eventually when we learned more about why Kik was pulled from App World. RIM has filed a patent lawsuit against Kik, and while we don’t know the exact patents RIM is claiming Kik has infringed on, a good guess is that it has to do with a RIM patent on BBM’s sent, delivered, read, and typing indicators. Considering the CEO of Kik, Ted Livingston, used to work at RIM, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think he had insider knowledge about the patent details.

Here is a thought: maybe RIM wouldn’t have sued Kik if they didn’t use this patent on other devices. The fact that the company essentially brought BBM to other platforms in such a way is bad for RIM’s business. Carriers will often say that BBM is the number 1 customer retention tool for BlackBerry, and if this opens up to other platforms they lose a bit of competitive advantage.