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Android Devs Facing In-App Purchases Issues

Lodsys, the same company that has gone after several of Apple’s iOS developers for supposedly infringing on patents is now doing the same to some of the Android platforms developers.

According to the website, Cult of Mac, there are many discussions going on in the Android Developer’s Forum regarding this issue. So far one app developer has been targeted by the group for the use of in-app purchases in the application.

“We recently implemented in-app purchases for our Android application and several weeks later we received a letter from Lodsys, claiming that we infringed on their patents,” wrote the developer of Tank Hero, a game on the Android Market. “We are obviously a small shop and are not financially capable of defending ourselves over a litigation.”

Lodsys began targeting developers for the iOS platform at the beginning of this month due infringements on four of their patents, including the use of in-app purchases with in applications. In-app purchase is a feature that Apple offers as part of their software development kit, and it lets developers use it if they want to provide paid add-ons for their games and applications.

Earlier this week Apple responded to Lodsys, along with developers that have been affected by this, a letter saying that Apple’s own license with the company concerning patents covers both developers and the applications. Also Apple stated that the groups argument was weak due to the fact that their in-app purchases require several of Apple’s own technologies.

Google had added in-app billing to their Android Market at the end of March, as a way for developers to be able to sell virtual items such as levels and additional features. Apple had launched their in-app billing back in 2009. Both these dates are extremely important due to the fact that Lodsys had mentioned in their letters that they had a right to seek past revenues from in-app purchases that were made within infringing applications as part of a licensing agreement.

Neither Google nor Lodsys have responded to requests for comments regarding this matter. However, Lodsys had stated that they refuse to speak to the press and will only respond through their blog.



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