The patent wars have once again made their way into the BlackBerry ecosystem. Both Apple and Google along with many of their developers are being sued by Lodsys who owns a patent for “in app payment methods.” Originally when Lodsys (who makes nothing useful aka Patent Troll) starting suing they were aiming for payments that happen inside the apps. The first BlackBerry developer to be sued by Lodsys is Yissachar Radcliffe of Rotten Ogre for his Lonely Turret BlackBerry PlayBook game that sells for $0.99.
The crazy part is that Lonely Turret does not even have in app payments. It simply has a link to App World where users can purchase the game upgrade. In other words Lodsys thinks even linking to a payment method from your app is infringement. Here is what Radcliffee said to The Globe and Mail which broke the story:
“I never thought they were interpreting the patent so broadly,” Mr. Radcliffe said, adding that the free version of Lonely Turret simply contains a link to a BlackBerry app marketplace, where users can buy the premium version of the game. “It’s just a link … The two apps are entirely separate.”
Radcliffe has contacted RIM about the issue but RIM has yet to respond. I am hoping RIM sets their many lawyers on Lodsys to defend their developers ASAP like both Apple and Google have. If anything they should repurpose all of the lawyers RIM has sending DMCA notices to help protect their developers since one man shops like Rotten Ogre cannot defend themselves for using App World. Radcliffe points out that even 2 hours of a lawyers time would wipe out all his profit from the game.
Check out the full story at the Globe and Mail and if you know anybody at RIM make sure to forward this article to them. Thanks Derek for pointing it out.