Lodsys Agrees to Dismiss Patent Case Against Small Developer for a Charitable DonationLodsys Agrees to Dismiss Patent Case Against Small Developer for a Charitable Donation

Back in May 2011, patent holding firm Lodsys began threatening lawsuits against a number of small iOS developers, alleging infringement of a Lodsys-held patent through the use of Apple’s in-app purchase and upgrade functionalities. The case was an interesting one because small developers were being held liable for their use of Apple’s supported tools for iOS apps, with Apple agreeing to back the developers and claiming that Apple’s existing license with Lodsys automatically extended to cover third-party developers using those tools.Lodsys continued to pressure developers, both large and small, to take out their own licenses for Lodsys’ patents, with many developers choosing to purchase licenses rather than fight in court. Lodsys now claims over 200 licensees for its patents

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While news about Lodsys had been relatively quiet through late 2012 and early 2013, the firm once again made a splash in April of this year when it filed suit against Disney, Gameloft, and several other developers and companies. Aside from a brief June announcement from Lodsys noting that Angry Birds developer Rovio has taken a license for Lodsys’ patents, things had once again turned quiet through the middle of this year.But as noted in a blog post today from developer Todd Moore, whose firm TMSOFT is responsible for several dozen iOS and Mac apps, Lodsys has curiously agreed to dismiss its case against him in exchange for an end to the dispute and a mutual charitable donation from the two sides (via @DotComCTO).

The dismissal is with prejudice which means they can never sue my company again for infringing its patents. I did not have to pay any money to Lodsys or sign a license agreement. I also did not sign a confidentially agreement so I’m free to talk about this matter.So what did I have to agree to?1. Never to sue Lodsys over its patents (I otherwise would have the right to ask a court to rule their patents invalid if I wanted)2. Dismiss all motions with prejudice (we had filed a motion to dismiss that also sought to recover my attorneys fees, costs and expenses)3. Make a donation to a mutually agreeable charityMoore notes that the only reason he was able to fight Lodsys in court was that he had pro bono assistance from the Public Patent Foundation, with attorneys there estimating that their time spent on the case could normally have been billed at roughly $190,000 even before it headed to trial. He also highlights the ease with which Lodsys is able to file patent lawsuits against small developers and his continuing efforts at supporting patent reform.It remains unclear whether Lodsys’ move to dismiss the case against Moore and TMSOFT is part of a strategy shift for the firm or if it simply realized that it was not worth pursuing a protracted fight against a small developer receiving free legal representation. We have yet to hear of any similar settlements, although many developers have understandably been reluctant to share details on their own experiences with Lodsys.

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Wii U’s Spin the Bottle slowed by ‘non-conventional’ QAWii U’s Spin the Bottle slowed by ‘non-conventional’ QA

Spin the Bottle is bottlenecked in QA at Nintendo

Spin the Bottle, the Wii U game that puts players in compromising positions, is held up in QA with Nintendo, developer KnapNok tells My Nintendo NewsSpin the Bottle was originally slated for May, but later received an “early summer” launch window. Now, KnapNok hopes for “mid-August.”

“The game has been done for months now; we are going through the last quality assurance with Nintendo and it has taken way longer than anticipated,” KnapNok says. “One of the problems is that we are doing so much weird stuff with the Wii Remotes, such as pushing buttons with your nose, passing them to each other over your heads and players blindfolded crawling around on the floor trying to find the controller. Each of these things is non-conventional and there are just so many rules and requirements that can go wrong.” learn more about playing online games at https://gamerblok.com/axie-infinity-play-to-earn-game-models-in-cryptocurrency/

In the meantime, KnapNok says it’s hard at work prototyping the first update, which will inevitably add even more ways to awkwardly make contact with other human beings. KnapNok plans on using updates strategically, launching the game for “cheap-ish” and increasing its price as more content rolls out – early adopters will get the updates for free, of course.

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Worth ReadingWorth Reading

You can’t accuse the video game industry of being a boring place right now. It may be turbulent, its future uncertain, and market forces are stretching in new, untold, slightly scary directions, but there’s plenty to talk about. We’re only a few weeks from the biggest E3 in years, and the 2013 edition is the one we’ve promised ourselves will show us brand-new video games. It’s a new cycle! More money! Yeah! Increasingly, I’ve found myself shrugging at the prospect that a transitional E3 is the solution. More accurately, it’s not where I expect to find the solutions that fit my tastes.

I’ll most certainly be playing plenty of AAA games in the years to come, but if my top ten list from last year was any indication, it’s not where games are resonating for me anymore, so why should I worry so much about it changing?So…I won’t! Worst case scenario? It’s business as usual, and at some point I end up tweeting about the amount of guns and violence for the upteenth time. (I’ll try not to.) Best case scenario? I’m surprised at the interesting risks video games are taking on a large scale, and we’ve all come out ahead.

Hey, You Should Play This

Anyone that tuned into Spookin’ With Scoops experienced what this is all about. I’m not going to say anything. Download this game, and come to learn who Mr. White Face is. I do not like him.

If you told me Mr. Rescue was a long-lost game from the 16-bit era, I’d believe you. Mr. Rescue has players running around an excellently pixelated series of burning buildings, putting out fires, and tossing people through windows–you know, rescuing them! The controls are tight (I couldn’t seem to climb up ladders on a gamepad, though), and the multiple game systems–water control, heat management, crowd panic–play off each other to create a deeper game than it first seems.

And You Should Read These, Too

Brendan Keogh, author of Killing is Harmless, does an excellent job introducing the queer games scene. Papers, Please and Cart Life have taken the most credit for evoking empathy from players, but it’s been happening in the queer games scene for years. Playing Anna Anthropy’s Dys4ia was particularly powerful for me. Growing up, I watched a close friend’s sibling have similar experiences with gender, and Dys4ia helped answer the questions I was too afraid to ask.

“I’m really good at luring gamer nerds in, then surprising them with a discussion about gender,” she says with a sly smile. “I think making things that look like video games and play like video games and are very ‘video gamey’ video games is a really good way to trick people into becoming more enlightened, educated human beings.”

When news about a Shadow Warrior reboot broke, it sorta broke my brain. Who wants another Shadow Warrior game? I might’ve enjoyed its blatantly over-the-top nature when I was a teen, but it didn’t take many years to realize how sexist and racist the game’s “humor” was, and none of that would fly in 2013. It’s interesting the producers of the game decided this would not be part of the new Shadow Warrior game from day one, and are focusing on the game’s other elements. Are those enough to support a brand-new game?

“We said look, there is some baggage with the original game, but we thought the elements that I described were worth it. It did some neat things, and had a very rich setting, and we were going to discard [the racial and sexist humor] elements of the original game. If some fans don’t like it, that’s unfortunate, and we think we can win them over with the other parts of the game,” he continued. “In fact, those things were, in our minds, detrimental to the original. We’re reinventing it how we think it needs to be done. If they miss that, we’re not going to be sorry, or anything like that.”

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