The makers of several iOS applications have received cease and desist letters over the use of in-app purchasing, from parties who claim the feature infringes on an existing patent.
Computer LogicX, which makes Mix and Mash and Mix and Mash LITE, as well as developer James Thomson, who makes PCalc and DragThing, have received letters threatening legal action if the feature is not removed.
In Computer LogicX's case, the U.S. patent is No.7,222,078, which Macrumors discovered is owned by holding firm Lodsys. That patent, titled "methods and systems for gathering information from units of a commodity across a network," was acquired by the firm in 2004, and deals with the set up and completion of a transaction.
A snippet from the patent attempts to sum up what the invention is about:
"Simply put, this invention helps vendors and customers by transforming their learning cycle: It compresses the time and steps between setting business objectives, creating effective products and services, and improving them continuously. It also alters their roles: Customers become partners in the improvement process along with vendors and distributors."
Rob Gloess of Computer LogicX weighed in on the matter in an e-mail to Macrumors, saying the patent holder was taking aim specifically at an upgrade mechanism that involves… Read more