According to their website the Marshall, Texas company Lodsys seeks to:
Embrace and empower invention by supporting an Innovative Economy
Apparently they do this by licencing the four patents they own to over 200 companies and launching legal action against those who don’t. As listed by Ars, this year alone they are up to dozens of lawsuits already
- In January, Lodsys sued Crocs (crocs.com), Oriental Trading Company (orientaltrading.com), Saks (saksfithavenue.com), Somerset Investments (bookbyte.com), General Motors (buick.com), Edmac Industries (edmac.com), Implix USA (getresponse.com) , Orchid Cellmark (orchidcellmark.com), Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (drpeppersnapple.com), and Jones Group (ninewest.com).
- In February, Lodsys sued 4imprint [PDF], BullionVault, PromoManagers, Retail Concepts, Steris Corp., Loews Hotels, OpticsPlanet, SuperValu, and Volkswagen of America.
- In April, Lodsys turned to mobile game studios. These lawsuits don’t mention interactive chat, and so Lodsys appears to have gone back to suing over in-app purchasing, rather than the user feedback and chat claims it has made against retailers earlier. In a batch of suits filed April 1 and 2, Lodsys sued Gameloft [PDF], BackFlip Studios, Gamevil [PDF], Jirbo [PDF], MobileAge [PDF], Pocket Gems [PDF], Sunstorm Interactive, TMSoft [PDF], TLA Systems [PDF], and The Walt Disney Company [PDF]. Those targets are mostly, but not exclusively, game developers.
By taking action against such a broad range of companies it could be construed Lodsys believes that any company website that features the de rigueur customer feedback mechanisms is infringing and fair game. Likewise on the app side of things any company that facilitates in-app purchases may also a target. With so many lawsuits they may be throwing them all against the wall to see what sticks but there are some big targets on the list that may not lie down so easily.
- Lodsys Wikipedia Article
- Arstechnica.com Article
- Patent US7222078 B2
- Patent US7620565 B2
- Patent US5999908 A
- Patent US7133834 B1