The developer and publisher of Angry Birds now have a reason to be angry themselves, as a technology company called Lodsys is suing them. Lodsys is what's known in the patent law world as a nonpracticing entity, which means it exists in business solely for the purpose of creating and licensing patents. Unlike Sony, for example, which may patent something related to Blu-ray technology and then use it in the PS3, Lodsys will patent something and then sell the rights to that patent to companies like Sony.
Of course, the equally lucrative business for companies like Lodsys is patent infringement lawsuits. And Lodsys specifically has been on a lawsuit binge this year.
In fact, its case against developer Rovio and publisher Electronic Arts isn't all that special. They are just two new defendants in what had already been a very large case. Lodsys is targeting 11 video game companies, including Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive over claims they all infringe on patents it owns.
The company also has other active lawsuits against mobile app developers. Its legal history includes spats with Best Buy, Canon Sam's Club, Samsung, Best Western, CVS, and Adidas. And that's just within the last six months.
There's now a push from external forces to research all of Lodsys's patents to find any possible way to invalidate them, such as technology already being used in a previous patent or anything as small as a mistake in the wording or paperwork for the patent.
In other words, Lodsys is the school bully that manipulates you into doing what it says. The action against Rovio and EA, as well as the one against all the app developers, could scare away up-and-coming game designers from forging ahead with their plans. Hopefully that won't happen.