That ugly patent troll who has recently been causing a disturbance for indie iOS developers has now turned its attentions to those building apps for Android, right after Apple slapped it on the wrist and sent it packing. Lodsys has photocopied another batch of its intimidating letters and sent them out to a number of Android developers… but will it earn any pocket money this time?
Just like it did with iOS developers, Lodsys has unscrupulously taken aim at smaller companies and individuals who it believes are unlikely to fight back. In a Google groups discussion, one developer wrote:
We are obviously a small shop and are not financially capable of defending ourselves over a litigation.
Apple stood up for iOS developers and sent Lodsys a message that made it clear they were willing to do battle – stating its existing license for the patent covers iOS developers, and that it is prepared to defend its rights. But will Google do the same for Android developers?
Well, so far it’s keeping quiet… lying low in that Google cave in which there is no means of contact with the outside world. The company doesn’t have a great reputation for protecting its partners from Android-related patents, according to Electronista. Microsoft has sued both Barnes & Noble and Motorola for patent infringements relating to Android, but even that didn’t tempt Google out of hiding.
However, I’d hope that for small-time application developers who don’t have bulging bank accounts, Google will step in and offer some support.