Lodsys dismisses lawsuit against app maker TMSoft

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Developer Todd Moore of TMSoft on Thursday announced that Lodsys has dismissed its patent-infringement lawsuit against his company.

Lodsys, you’ll recall, has filed numerous such lawsuits against app makers, alleging that it holds patents that cover in-app purchasing and cross-app promotion—and that any app that attempt either approach must license Lodsys’s patents.

Apple licenses Lodsys’s patents and maintains that doing so covers third-party iOS developers; Lodsys disagrees. The patent-holding company has sued developers large and small, including The Walt Disney Company, TLA Systems (makers of PCalc), Gameloft, Gamevil, Jirbo, MobileAge, and, indeed TMSoft.

TMSoft makes a slew of white-noise generation apps for iOS. (Disclosure: My wife and I maintained sanity during our three children’s respective infancies in large part due to TMSoft’s White Noise Baby app.)

In announcing Lodsys’s decision to dismiss its lawsuit against him and his company, Moore wrote on his blog that he “did not have to pay any money to Lodsys or sign a license agreement.” And he didn’t sign a confidentiality agreement, either; hence, his ability to dish.

The terms of Moore’s agreement with Lodsys, he writes, dictated that he never sue Lodsys over its patents, that he dismiss his own motions (about recovering attorney fees and related costs), and that he make a donation to a “mutually agreeable charity” alongside Lodsys.

Lodsys rejected Moore’s suggestions of donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Public Patent Foundation—both organizations that battle patent trolling; the two sides eventually agreed on the Make-a-Wish Foundation instead. A lawyer consulted by Macworld explained that such terms are legally enforceable—”you could settle on the terms that both parties suck their thumbs in public, if both sides agree”—and is likely a public relations move for Lodsys. (The lawyer asked to remain anonymous since he didn’t have specific details about the case.) “The bully, Lodsys, wants to be able to point to some goodwill...down the road, they can show a long list of charitable donations under their name,” he said.

Moore’s lawyers worked pro bono; they told him that had he paid for their services, his costs would have approached $190,000.

Neither Lodsys nor Moore responded immediately to Macworld's request for comment on the settlement.

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