Indie developer organizing ‘Operation Anthill’ coalition against Lodsys, patent trolls

“Move over Apple: some independent app developers plan to begin banding together to fight off lawsuits brought by Lodsys and its ilk on their own,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.

“On Monday, renowned iOS developer Mike Lee announced the Appsterdam Legal Defense Team, which will be made up of indie developers fighting patent trolls as a single unit and funded by contributions from participating companies,” Cheng reports. “The goal, aside from the obvious one of being free from frivolous patent lawsuits, is to become ‘the ants of East Texas, minding their business until someone invades their anthill.'”

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Cheng reports, “In a blog post, Lee wrote that the team has obtained the help of intellectual property attorney Michael McCoy, trained in Texas and licensed in California, to help start the Appsterdam Legal Defense Team.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

9 Comments

  1. It’s pretty eff’ed up that Apple isn’t taking care of this for the devs. They should be counter-suing Lodsys left, right, up and down – and then funding each and every dev’s defense with enough money to keep Lodsys in court until doomsday… And hopefully bankrupt the evil troll.

    1. I was under the impression that Apple *is* backing its developers, at least to some extent. Apple successfully countered Lodsys’ attempt to obtain more money from Apple, and also stated that its license applied to its developers, as well. Could Apple do more to directly support its developers in this legal dispute? I would think so, even given the ongoing higher profile legal battles with HTC and others. Should Apple do more? I really don’t know. Perhaps Apple legal knows things that we do not…

    2. From AppleInsider:

      “Apple has filed a motion to intervene on the case, but is awaiting approval from the court. As is to be expected, Lodsys has opposed the motion.”

      1. That is the direct involvement of Apple in the lawsuit itself; they have asked the court directly to intervene.

        What others here seem to be suggesting is that Apple provides financial support for the legal defense of these developers. The question is whether such support could possibly undermine the position of those developers in the court.

    3. I thought I read somewhere that there’s a possibility that any intervention without permission against Lodsys may jeopardise the licensee rights to that patent. This might be the reason why Apple, Google etc. are waiting for the court decision before jumping in with formal counseling/throwing their mights behind the developers.

    4. Apple has filed a brief asserting that they have a valid license and that app developers are covered by said license. Also, the FOSS patent website believes that Apple’s license may preclude them from doing some of the things you suggest. What’s disconcerting is that Google, whose Android developers are also being sued, hasn’t made a peep, though people have asked Andy Rubin directly about Google’s response.

  2. Maybe as tr previous article state apple is not able to sue Lodsys under their patent agreement .
    The best apple can do is to pay for the royalty.

    Hope that will be the case!!
    I smell a rat!! Maybe Lodsys is in cahoots with Microsoft or google to make developers leave the App Store

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