Not content with putting iOS developers under fire for violating a patent pertaining to in-app purchases, Lodsys is now attempting to squeeze the little money Android developers make for the same reason. Whether or not this is the right way to go about this is beyond me but Lodsys is obviously serious about getting just about as much as it can from developers who have implemented in-app purchases in applications.
The developer of Tank Hero, a game found in the Android Market, has been contacted by Lodsys,
“We recently implemented in-app purchases for our Android application and several weeks later we received a letter from Lodsys, claiming that we infringed on their patents. We are obviously a small shop and are not financially capable of defending ourselves over a litigation”
The above statement was found within a Google Groups thread for Android developers by CultofMac, and this may be just be the beginning of the patent war. Apple recently fired back at Lodsys, telling them to back off of its developers and, “the technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers.” With Google also has a license with the company, it may not be as clear as Apple, and could require Android developers to pay up to the patent troll.
While Lodsys has remained transparent in what it would like to see from developers, it’s not much different from bullying developers who likely don’t make a lot of money for their applications, and the licensing fee itself could leave developers at a loss.
Whether or not Google itself will step up and attempt to come to some sort of deal with Lodsys remains to be seen, but we could image that the Android developers hope that the search giant has their backs.