Google has broken their silence on the whole Lodsys software patent nonsense, and are asking the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to re-examine the validity of both patents in question.  This is in contrast to the way Apple has handled this situation, they have made the argument that the patents are covered by their license with Lodsys and developers for the iOS platform are immune to litigation.  Google is saying that the patents should have never been issued in the first place.  In a statement to Wired, Google senior VP and general counsel Kent Walker said:

We’ve asked the US Patent Office to reexamine two Lodsys patents that we believe should never have been issued. Developers play a critical part in the Android ecosystem and Google will continue to support them.

Lodsys is currently suing 11 application developers for infringment, saying that their patents cover in-app payment technology.  Of the 11, Rovio, and Illusion Labs have released applications for the Android platform.  There is no wanton suing of Android specific developers -- yet. 

Google's stance that these patents are invalid goes along with their strategy of the patent system being broken and in need of a revamp.  But even if the USPTO grants the re-examination request, that doesn't mean they will be invalidated.  A quick look at the current crop of lawsuits and trade dress actions makes that evident.  We wish Google, and the developers involved, the best of luck.

Source: Wired; via TiPb


Reader comments

Google chimes in on Lodsys patent issue, asks USPTO to re-examine their validity


Responding to his 'first' comment just feeds his attention seeking and reinforces his immature behavior. Just mark it as spam and move on and the children will realize that the adults are busy having a real conversation.

Some wonders why it took Google so long to answer in this suit. It's because Google was taking a good look at the ROOT of Lodsys's patents.

I think that apple will find out that by pissing off Google they have woke a sleeping dragon.
Google is smart and they seem to know how to handle things I am sure its about to get real interesting.

Way back when I worked for IBM on the retail side we carried around two way pagers that we called "bricks", they were huge. Basically we used these things to get all of our service calls on, send messages to our supervisor and also request help from other CE's. What does this have to do with this lawsuit? Well we were also able to order or "purchase" if you will replacement parts for machines we were working on. These hand held two way systems interacted with a server and allowed us to order parts, basically what Lodsys is claiming with their in app purchase patent. This was back in 1990 and Motorola was making the two way devices for IBM. I'm not sure if Motorola made the underlying OS for the unit that allowed us to do all this or if it was IBM or a third party contractor that created but it was around long before Lodsys patent surfaced.