If you’ve heard of Lodsys, it most likely is because you’ve heard of them suing one company or another over in-app purchasing patents. This has been going on since 2011. Well, now Disney is getting pulled into the middle of this, and more specifically its “Where’s My Water?” application that is found in Apple’s App Store. The patents that are in question are mentioned here, from the filing:
On information and belief, Disney manufactures, uses, sells, imports, and/or offersto sell infringing products and/or services — including but not limited to Disney’s applications such as Where’s My Water? — which infringe at least claims 1, 15, and 27 of the ‘565 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271.
Prior to filing this complaint, Lodsys informed Disney of the patents-in-suit and offered to enter into a licensing arrangement that would allow Disney to continue practicing the inventions claimed in patents-in-suit. Disney, however, chose not to enter into a licensing agreement. Instead, with knowledge of the patents-in-suit and disregard for Lodsys’ patent rights, Disney chose to continue its infringement. On information and belief, Disney continued its infringement despite an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted infringement of a valid patent (i.e., the ‘565 patent). Disney was made aware and, therefore, knew of the risk that it infringed the ‘565 patent. Accordingly, Disney acted knowingly, willfully, and with intent to infringe the patents-in-suit.
Disney is not the only company that has been hit with this though. Others include the likes of Gameloft, Backflip Studios, and even HP has been sued by this company. Apple has actively backed some of the developers that have been tangled up with this company with legal assistance. It will be interesting to see if it can make any dent in the app market with this.
What do you think? Wondering who will win? Will this be settled out of court? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.