May 162011

Want to know where our country of ambitious entrepreneurs went? The descendants of the ones who navigated the seas to settle a new country because their freedoms were being trampled?

They’re dealing with bullshit from patent trolls.

Yes: they’re at it again. This time it’s a company called Lodsys, LLC, an East Texas “company” that “strategically purchases” patents. Now Lodsys thinks it has a patent that covers in-app purchases, a major method of upgrading most Apple iOS apps, but also a common upgrade mechanism utilized by other platforms. Nevermind some of the patents date back to 1992. To clarify why what they’re attempting could be considered anything but trolling, Lodsys took the time to explain patent law to the haters. It’s bad enough that they said anything, but check out the pedantic taco spray analogy Lodsys is using to describe the “value added” by their patent:

“…the owner of the hotel… is responsible for the overall service (value proposition) that guests pay for, not the owner of the land that the hotel may be leasing, not the travel agent that sold the reservation, not the manufacturer of tools such as hammers, nor the provider of materials such as nails or steel beams, which may be used in building the hotel; nor is it the outsourced linen washing service or the architect of the building who is responsible. Lodsys’ patent portfolio is being used as a part of an overall solution and we are seeking to be paid for the use of patent rights by the accountable party.”

That may be the worst explanation in the history of using words illustratively. So your bullshit patent is the…land in this metaphor? Or the nails? Or the…seriously: what the fuck is it? You’re trying to compare physical assets with a bunch of bullshit hand-waving, which, make no mistake my friends, is the closest you come to a relationship with the current practice of in-app purchases. A more fitting analogy would be if someone thought up an idea for being paid for providing shelter before the invention of the hotel, described it to a friend, then had that friend sell the description to a third party who in turn tried to cash in on the applied concept once “hotels” were brought into the physical universe.

And as for the claim that “Apple’s covered, but 3rd parties aren’t”, nice try. Did you really think Apple thought “well, my shit’s covered!” and willfully left iOS developers to twist in the wind? You’re either ducking Apple like the slithering scumbags you are or you’re looking to double dip. If you believe Apple is going to let you fuck with its App Store on an atomic level by going after its developers, maybe you were actually born in West Texas.

It is TMA’s prayer that Bruce Sewell is measuring the strike of Apple’s legal hammer – a weapon no doubt forged from the fires of white-hot hatred for patent trolls – and that it is brought down on these scumbags with such extreme prejudice their mutated spawn will be born deaf from the sonic blast created from their smiting. Sorry if wishing ill on you and your kind “isn’t cool”. Neither is stifling innovation with greed, so go suck shit through a straw.

The next time you wonder about where the cure for cancer or AIDS is, look no further than the periodically refraining punchline that is our patent system. And please do teach your children that trolls are real.

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