iOS developer Mike Lee looks to start group of independent developers to take on patent trolls

Wed, Aug 3, 2011

Legal, News

With patent trolls like Lodsys an unfortunate reality, a new initiative spearheaded by iOS developer Mike Lee looks to combat frivolous and overwhelmingly distracting lawsuits by forming a group called the Appsterdam Legal Defense Team. Comprised of and funded by iOS developers, the group will function as a single unit to take on patent trolls who think they have easy prey in the form of independent developers who lack the resources of larger companies.

With a tech attorney based out of Texas and concurrently licensed in California, Lee and co. envisions the group as much more than a defensive strategy.

We will let the patent trolls know: if you attack one indie, you attack all indies, and we will file every motion we can against you, we will attack your patents, and we will show you for the mafioso thugs you are…

Legal action will be the start of our three-pronged attack. Next we’ll take the fight to Washington, raising a wall of legislation against future attacks. Imagine a law that allows small software companies to opt out of the patent system.

We will also mobilize the many talented designers and evangelists in our community to launch a massive media marketing campaign to let the public know that small businesses, jobs, and the economy are being threatened by parasites.

Well, we can’t imagine any law that would just allow a company to opt out of the patent system, but it’s nice to see iOS developers banding together to take on trolls who contribute nothing to society and seek nothing more than to take monetary advantage of individuals and companies who actually produce something worthy of consumption.

Ars notes that no developers have yet to sign on board, and even if this group doesn’t get off the ground, it’s reassuring to see that some steps are being taken to look out for the little guys.

Lee mentions that they’ll be going after Lodsys, but that their ultimate target is Intellectual Ventures.

Not to rain on the parade, but looking to take down Intellectual Ventures suggests to me that these folks might be biting off a bit more than they can show.

But as Principal Skinner said in an old episode of The Simpsons when he was overheard to state that his students have no future, “Prove me wrong, kids. Prove me wrong!”

via Ars Technica


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