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Apps patent trolling could end

The latest withdrawal of an industry patent challenge by Lodsys has made one commentator think that it may be time to change the way that patent claim cases are paid for in Virginia and the rest of the country. With an eye toward lessening what is known as patent trolling, the writer suggests that in patent lawsuits, the loser should have to pay both sides' legal fees. This, he said, would keep patent troll companies from being able to take settlement money from tech companies that know that paying for unneeded licensing is actually less expensive than fighting in court.

Lodsys will do anything to avoid a business litigation case on its merits, the commentator added, so it withdrew its latest claims rather than face its latest target in court. The fact of the matter is that Lodsys claims that its couple of patents are vital to the making of in-app purchases for Apple and Android systems. Although both Apple and Google have taken out licenses on that technology and used it in their environments, Lodsys has filed suit after suit against the makers of the apps, demanding that they also pay licensing fees, the commentator said.

Instead of going after specific companies that it thinks are violating its license, however, Lodsys sends off writs almost at random to companies or app makers, demanding a large settlement. The writer believes that if the civil court system was set up so that the loser of the case pays the legal fees, these trolling attempts would stop.

Virginia companies know that business litigation is a part of life for entrepreneurs. An attorney experienced in commercial litigation may be able to offer valuable advice and counsel in cases of breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty.

Source: Forbes, "The Apple Apps Patent Troll Lodsys Gives Up And Runs Away", Tim Worstall, October 03, 2013

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