Patent troll Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures-connected Lodsys, one the many faceless companies founded to obscure exactly who shakes down small businesses with vague patents that represent equally-vague post-Microsoft careers, was forced to settle with a victim this week—but not without exercising some grotesque conditions on it. Lodsys controls a patent on in-app purchase buttons, and it will have your money, should your app include a button of interest to it, on pain of lawsuits that are even more expensive to battle than the liver disease you'd end up with should you drink the way one imagines a wealthy patent troll might do at home, at night, in the clawing blender-decanted quiet, when the money just isn't enough anymore.
I was a little confused about why Lodsys wanted to make a donation to charity. I asked my lawyer if it was to make them appear more human. He said it is most likely because if we would have said no to this offer, the judge could have said we were not behaving reasonably. ...
The total costs to my company would have been $190,000. And that’s just for the initial response to this lawsuit. We hadn’t even gotten to court which would have increased that amount into millions. Remember that it only cost Lodsys about $450 to file the lawsuit. This is why small businesses will usually always settle. It’s just not worth it to fight. And even if you could win and get awarded your attorneys fees and costs, which are very rare, you probably won’t see a dime of that money.
Ladies and gentlemen, Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures-connected Lodsys.