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Patent Troll Sues X-Plane

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the uniloc-has-a-lot-of-x-planing-to-do dept.

Patents 214

symbolset writes "X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux. It was the first to include NASA data in their terrain modelling. It's now under threat by an NPE (Non-Practicing Entity) called Uniloc. Uniloc is suing for things X-Plane has done for decades. X-plane cannot afford to defend this suit, so if somebody doesn't step up and defend them then we lose X-plane forever. Quoting: 'I have spoken to a lawyer about this, and I am told that it will cost me about $1,500,000 (one and a half million dollars) to defend this suit. He also told me that it should take about two to three years to defend. This is more money than I have made selling Android Apps in the first place.'"

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Only Serious Flight Simulator? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339747)

http://www.flightgear.org/

Re:Only Serious Flight Simulator? (3, Funny)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#41340149)

You Bastard! Now Uniloc will know who else to sue!

Errrm what? (2, Insightful)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about 2 years ago | (#41339819)

Where did "selling Android Apps" enter the picture? Turns out the patent has nothing to do with "things X-Plane has done for decades". Couldn't the editors have checked that?

Re:Errrm what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339857)

Really?

He's saying that he hasn't made 1.5 million dollars selling Android apps to allow him to defend the things X-Plane has done for decades because he doesn't have that kind of money.

Re:Errrm what? (5, Informative)

Score Whore (32328) | about 2 years ago | (#41340027)

Actually he says he does have that kind of money:

(Note: I have enough money to defend thus suit all the way through trial without it being a severe financial hardship, so please do not give if it is a hardship for you. But, if you would like to make a contribution to help with the cause because you want to help stop people like this, then it will surely be appreciated!)

And it sounds like not only does have have that kind of money, but he has lots more too.

Re:Errrm what? (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41340213)

Oh, this must be that trickle down economics I hear so much about
"Hey everyone, Im rich, but I need help defending the thing you all love because I dont really wanna pay for it."
Wait, what?

Re:Errrm what? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41340575)

Oh, this must be that trickle down economics I hear so much about

"Hey everyone, Im rich, but I need help defending the thing you all love because I dont really wanna pay for it."

Wait, what?

Trickles down to the lawyers?

Re:Errrm what? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41339885)

Where did "selling Android Apps" enter the picture? Turns out the patent has nothing to do with "things X-Plane has done for decades". Couldn't the editors have checked that?

It enters into the picture because x-Plain is using a standard Android API developed by Google and shipped with Android to check if the user bought the package before allowing it to be used.

This pretty much means Google is going to go after the Troll since the patents cited have plenty of prior art that the patent office overlooked.

The editors could have checked for this, but quite frankly you could have clicked a link an RTFA.

Re:Errrm what? (5, Informative)

idontgno (624372) | about 2 years ago | (#41340035)

The summary is, as usually, fairly terribad.

The patent (filed 2001, granted 2005) is for remote license checking. This, you may surmise, is ancient technology. It's ubiquitous technology. It's an egregiously bad candidate for a patent (in my non-lawyer opinion). But, there it is.

The "decades" part has nothing explicit to do with X-Plane, or with the Android license checking API. It has entirely to do with the fact that remote license checking has been done for decades, not that X-Plane has been doing it for decades.

Way to misinterpret TFA when constructing the summary, Original Submitter. (Assuming Editor didn't botch the summary and make it look like they're quoting the Submitter's pristine words.)

I love this place. It makes "finding the real story" into a bizarre and almost-entertaining "Where's Waldo" game.

Re:Errrm what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340271)

So... he got sued because his proprietary software's DRM system infringes a troll's patent on DRM systems?

He's the lesser of two evils. I hope he wins, but it's hard to give a crap, really.

If he wins, a patent troll is defeated, which is good.
If he loses, DRM becomes harder to do, because of the patent, which is also good.
Either way, money changes hands from two asshats to their lawyers, who, quite likely are equally asshats, which is thus neutral.

Re:Errrm what? (5, Funny)

AaronLS (1804210) | about 2 years ago | (#41340449)

This is known as Asshat Economics. Money slowly trickles into the hands of asshats, and once there, it just moves around between the asshats to create the illusion that they are doing something meaningful.

Re:Errrm what? (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#41340711)

The patent (filed 2001, granted 2005) is for remote license checking.

You mean like this patent [uspto.gov] , which they failed to list as prior art?

Re:Errrm what? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340325)

It would be nice if Google actually went after this troll; however, this troll obviously knows they're probability of surviving against Google is 0 so they went after these 8 developers. Heck, even Oracle didn't survive against Google.

The trick shot there is these 8 developers convincing a judge that the patent is invalid because of "prior art" if you will (see this link [x-plane.com] from Laminar Research); or if it's considered valid that the plaintiff should go after Google instead. If the judge agrees the case is over for the plaintiff.

Re:Errrm what? (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 2 years ago | (#41340561)

This pretty much means Google is going to go after the Troll since the patents cited have plenty of prior art that the patent office overlooked.

I would think that Apollo's NetLS from 1987 would be the prime example here - even its name means Network Licensing System.
Unlike the later FlexLM, it did have a global server that pointed to the correct local server, so it's highly relevant here.

IBM: you guys bought NetLS, and now call it IBM LUM, so why not take off your gloves and go after this fscker with a pre-emptive suit?

Re:Errrm what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339929)

LOL! "Couldn't the editors have checked that?" on slashdot! HAH!

Haven't heard something that funny in a long time.

Re:Errrm what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340265)

If you read the full documents, the patent is relating to the code that authorizes purchased Android Apps to run on a given phone. X-Plane's Author is only using the ANDROID API to perform the license check per Google specifications.

So any Android app that verifies that the phone it's running on matches the phone of the purchased user is fair game according Uniloc.

The "things X-Plane has done for decades" is false, but he has examples of other prior art that uses similar authentication methods.

Not to discourage people from contributing... (4, Informative)

drakaan (688386) | about 2 years ago | (#41339835)

...but (FTFA)

...Note: I have enough money to defend thus suit all the way through trial without it being a severe financial hardship, so please do not give if it is a hardship for you. But, if you would like to make a contribution to help with the cause because you want to help stop people like this, then it will surely be appreciated!...

Re:Not to discourage people from contributing... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41339909)

Plus, I bet Google steps in. Its a Google API he is using that is the subject of the troll.

Re:Not to discourage people from contributing... (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41340543)

Plus, I bet Google steps in. Its a Google API he is using that is the subject of the troll.

Actually, I'm surprised it took so long for a response. Laminar Research was sued back in July 22, 2012 [pcworld.com] .

In fact, this is part of the lawsuit that Uniloc filed against Mojang (Minecraft) as well, plus EA and many other big names. And the one where the founder says he's not a "patent troll" [theverge.com] .

I'd be surprised if Google didn't step in - it's Google's technology they're all using in the end. Just like how Apple stepped in when a bunch of iOS developers (and later, Android devs) got sued over in-app purchases.

He deserves it! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339841)

I've had the displeasure of dealing with this sociopath on a number of occasions (Meyer) and he really is a piece of work (e.g. nutcase.) The cost that he whines about is purely speculative, but of course, we must believe him because his opinions are fact. I hate to say it, but I don't have any sympathy at all.

Re:He deserves it! (1)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#41339975)

Is that you Mr. Uniloc?

Re:He deserves it! (-1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41340145)

I've had the displeasure of dealing with this sociopath on a number of occasions (Meyer) and he really is a piece of work (e.g. nutcase.) The cost that he whines about is purely speculative, but of course, we must believe him because his opinions are fact. I hate to say it, but I don't have any sympathy at all.

Also, he's asking for financial contributions to defend the DRM licensing scheme he's using. What is he thinking? Does he even know he's posting on Slashdot? There are plenty of good non-DRM'd flight simulators on Android, both free and paid ones.

Here is my favorite one for instance: F18 Carrier Landing Lite [google.com]

Here's a pic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339843)

This article has a picture of the perp [eurogamer.net] : "Uniloc founder hits back after Minecraft fans vent fury in "disgusting" emails ".

From the caption: Ric Richardson, who sued Microsoft in 2003 for violating his patent relating to technology designed to deter software piracy. The parties settled out of court. Guess he's going to be busy [blogspot.co.uk] with more e-mails and other stuff (pizzas, subscriptions, "police woman" strippers, etc.)

Re:Here's a pic (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41340019)

Minecraft is so badly coded why would you want to take credit for its software? o_o

Guy is just a dumb patent troll. 1.5 million? Please, how about we fine him 3 million, 1.5 million for the lawyer fees and 1.5 million to the the US government for wasting its time when it could be spending time and money on more important things than this bullshit.

Re:Here's a pic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340193)

That man needs to be disappeared, violently. In public.

What happens if they ignore it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339861)

I'm curious, what happens if they simply let this float to the courtroom?

Flightgear (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339879)

I'm sure the developers of Flightgear would be pleased to hear their efforts aren't serious.

Re:Flightgear (0)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41340211)

Is Flightgear FAA certified [x-plane.com] ? (If it is, cool - I had no idea. But I doubt it.)

One day I'll come on slashdot (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#41339893)

One day I'll come on slashdot and read "Patent Troll had his legs broken by unknown assailants, was tarred and then dumped in a bin of shredded legal papers. :

Summary is Linkbait... (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41339913)

... and I ain't bitin'

Re:Summary is Linkbait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340053)

Because all links point within x-plane.com? Maybe, just maybe the OP doesn't have a blog to write about the issue, and all pertaining info can be found in the links.

Same thing happened to me (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339921)

But I decided stupidly to blow my life savings trying to defend my business. Which is why I will never pursue innovation or anything beneficial to anyone but myself ever again. Fuck you America and your corporatist culture. You don't deserve to benefit from good ideas. Greedy fucks.

Re:Same thing happened to me (1)

Psudonymous_Coward (2730497) | about 2 years ago | (#41340109)

I can relate.

Re:Same thing happened to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340581)

This is a detailed and substantiated story. You seem real trustworthy. No need for links, names or anything like that to prove it. I feel ya, bro.

No, seriously, without any details it just makes a nice karma-whoring post (seems to be effective, too). It's a waste to post in as AC, though.

I RTFA and see the following (5, Informative)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41339953)

* Laminar Research is being sued specifically for the Android version
* Uniloc is suing Laminar Research because X-Plane phones home to validate it's license
* X-Plane is using a system for license validation provided by Google. Nearly everyone else in the Android market is using this same code, so Uniloc is not going to stop here.

I would say Laminar Research needs to get EFF on the phone but I don't know if they would help defend a commercial product.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#41339983)

Sounds like he should get Google on the phone.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (1)

tony.damato (13665) | about 2 years ago | (#41340421)

I agree. Google, among others, are fighting Lodsys (aka Intellectual Ventures) for going after their app developers.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340001)

Considering that this affects all Android apps that use the standard license verification, they need to get Google on the phone, never mind the EFF.

EFF's policies (0)

Qubit (100461) | about 2 years ago | (#41340067)

I would say Laminar Research needs to get EFF on the phone but I don't know if they would help defend a commercial product.

beyond just the license, the EFF might not feel especially warm feelings towards someone whose software 'phones home' without the user's permission.

Re:EFF's policies (4, Informative)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41340161)

"...without the user's permission"

You click an "Accept & Download" button when installing anything from the Play Store. listed under that button is the permissions the app requires.

Re:EFF's policies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340169)

Pull your fucking head out of Richard Stallman's putrid ass crack. It's verifying a license, and the end user knows this. Where the FUCK do you get "without the user's permission"?

Tell me, what does RMS's sphincter SMELL like? Seems like you would know...

Re:EFF's policies (1)

Picass0 (147474) | about 2 years ago | (#41340199)

And you know it's putrid how?

Re:EFF's policies (2)

dotHectate (975458) | about 2 years ago | (#41340177)

I don't know if you have an Android but whenever I download apps there's always a list of permissions it will have. That alone probably constitutes a degree of permission by the user, I'm sure.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41340081)

Of course they would. They have in the past. Take the lawsuits against ReplayTV for example. Unfortunatly, they were too little too late, but the EFF was there.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (1)

Peter Bortas (130) | about 2 years ago | (#41340231)

Minecraft/Mojang is being sued for the exact same thing, So he should have a talk with Notch.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41340285)

I would say Laminar Research needs to get EFF on the phone but I don't know if they would help defend a commercial product.

The EFF does defend commercial products sometimes, but yes, EFF defending DRM? I certainly hope not. If the EFF did ever start defending things like DRM, they'd lose half their membership.

Re:I RTFA and see the following (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about 2 years ago | (#41340309)

That protection mechanism sounds very annoying. Does that mean you can only play the game when you have an internet connection?

Stop living in the US (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41339967)

You need to move to a free country. Innovation is dead in this country. If you don't have several million dollars, you're nobody. You aren't entitled to legal protection, you're just a consumer waiting to be extorted. I'm not saying this to be sarcastic or political; I mean it. Move your development overseas, contribute under an alias, use Tor, whatever it takes. The United States is not a place for innovators or creators to be right now. It is, however, a great place for lawyers and thieves.

Re:Stop living in the US (3, Informative)

some1001 (2489796) | about 2 years ago | (#41340339)

Just another alarmist that doesn't know what the heck is he talking about.

True, the patent system for software is completely hosed up. But to say, "Innovation is dead in this country," is just you talking out of your ass.

There are plenty of companies in many other facets of science and engineering that are doing just fine by staying in the states (not to mention having some of the best schools in the world plus lots of very good ones). As an example, why do international companies in the petroleum industry routinely do business in the states? Oh wait, is it because innovation is dead? No, it's because we have some of the very best technology and great minds to advise companies all over the world.

Re:Stop living in the US (1)

some1001 (2489796) | about 2 years ago | (#41340373)

Fixing my poor grammar now instead of later: ...is he... should be ...he is...

Re:Stop living in the US (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41340445)

True, the patent system for software is completely hosed up. But to say, "Innovation is dead in this country," is just you talking out of your ass.

There are plenty of companies in many other facets of science and engineering that are doing just fine by staying in the states (not to mention having some of the best schools in the world plus lots of very good ones). As an example, why do international companies in the petroleum industry routinely do business in the states? Oh wait, is it because innovation is dead? No, it's because we have some of the very best technology and great minds to advise companies all over the world.

Or, it's just software's turn this century.

Patent trolls have been around practically forever. The 19th century had patent lawsuits flying around over motorized vehicles, probably just as much as we're seeing between Apple, Microsoft, Google/Motorola, Samsung, etc. And probably just as stupid.

I believe it's a sure sign of innovation when it happens - when a technology is booming, people start mining for gold. When the high-technology sector settles down, so will the lawsuits. And then some OTHER field will experience a rise in patent lawsuits, and they too will wonder about reforming the system, blah blah blah.

History repeating itself over and over again. I tihnk some of the greatest inventors (Edison?) were also some of the most prolific lawsuit-filers.

Re:Stop living in the US (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41340519)

Whether it's historical or not, the business decision remains the same: The United States is no longer a safe place to innovate. It doesn't reward innovation, it punishes it.

Re:Stop living in the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340483)

No, it's largely because you're one of the largest markets for petroleum.

Re:Stop living in the US (1)

some1001 (2489796) | about 2 years ago | (#41340793)

Haha, so they come to the US to ask for help about acidizing wells, new drilling methodologies, and completions... Just because we are a large market for it?

You know what? Let's say you're right. I hope in the future, when you are trying to figure out how to start up a very productive farm, you mosey your way on over to China and get their help on all the best techniques (because, of course, they are the largest market for food in the world). You mind as well go over there for all your electronics needs as well. Heck, I bet you can't wait to pick up the new Huawei smartphone. I mean, they have to be the best in the world since they're the largest market, right?

Re:Stop living in the US (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41340733)

As an example, why do international companies in the petroleum industry routinely do business in the states?

Because we have a corrupt government that gives favors to powerful industries.

Re:Stop living in the US (1)

some1001 (2489796) | about 2 years ago | (#41340871)

And what favors would those be to Saudi Aramco or Gazprom? I won't deny that the US has its fair share of corruption, but to say that our government goes out of its way to throw favors at foreign companies just because they are in a "powerful industry" seems like a long shot to me.

If you can prove it on either one of those two *huge* companies getting favors from the federal government, I'll buy it. I'll admit that I was wrong and apologize for being so misguided.

Re:Stop living in the US (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41340969)

Specific favors? No, I don't follow the petroleum industry that closely. But we have a terrible record at holding large corporations accountable for crimes. That can only be attractive to cartels.

Besides, whether Aramco can innovate is irrelevant. Patent trolls don't deter major corporations, they have the funds to fight. What patent trolls do is destroy individual innovation, outside of a corporate structure. You know, the kind of innovation one expects to see in a free country.

Re:Stop living in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340985)

Sorry, but in today's age, saying "the patent system for software is completely hosed up" is like saying "the patent system for communication is completely hosed up."

What doesn't involve software today at some level? Certainly not everything involves software, but a lot of it does. I dare say most technological advances will involve software.

I'm sorry, but the ridiculousness of everything has reached new levels with the patent system. Sure, there were problems before, but not at this scale or level of ridiculousness.

The OP is right. The US is no longer free as far as innovation is concerned, and it won't improve until corporations start publicly moving and saying "we're moving because your patent system is restricting my freedom." The government is essentially giving away free speech to the highest bigger at the moment, and they won't change until they see the money going elsewhere.

Re:Stop living in the US (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 2 years ago | (#41340391)

You need to move to a free country.

"Quoting: 'I have spoken to a lawyer about this, and I am told that it will cost me about [puts pinkys to lips] $1,500,000 (one and a half million dollars) to defend this suit."

Hmm, Nigeria, maybe?

Litigation costs (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41339985)

Isn't it cheaper, not to mention more socially responsible, to simply bomb that company's headquarters?

Re:Litigation costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340307)

Not when it's a single person [blogspot.co.uk] . It's DEFINITELY cheaper then...

Re:Litigation costs (1)

joelwhitehouse (2571813) | about 2 years ago | (#41340589)

Looking at the addresses Uniloc listed in the lawsuit, the locations are just rented office units -- lots of businesses are using the building.

7160 Dallas Parkway, Plano, Texas, 75024
http://binged.it/OpbYL9 [binged.it]

315 North Broadway, Tyler, Texas
http://binged.it/Opc1Xy [binged.it]

Re:Litigation costs (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 2 years ago | (#41340849)

...more socially responsible, to simply bomb that company's headquarters

Do you have any idea how much CO2 that bomb will release!??!?!??

Re:Litigation costs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340947)

Isn't it cheaper, not to mention more socially responsible, to simply bomb that company's headquarters?

Way to make it onto a no fly list Mr. Kyosuke!

Almost, not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339987)

http://www.x-plane.com/x-world/lawsuit/details/
Details on the site say that it is things OTHER PROGRAMS have done for decades, not explicitly X-Plane.

Claims that their patent is violated if you are "making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application"

How to Beat a Patent Troll (1)

gerddie (173963) | about 2 years ago | (#41340011)

Telling the troll to spend all the money on defending onself seems to be the best bet to win [kitware.com] .

Re:How to Beat a Patent Troll (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41340345)

Oooh these guys are the genuine parasitic troll, too:

"Well, at Unilocs’ website, at the time of this writing, lives the text: “In the device recognition space, for example, we believe that we have uncovered a billion dollar market And it fits our straightforward development model. Look at many ideas. Pick an outstanding one. Patent it. Commercialize it. Reap the rewards.”"

as an X-plane customer... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340021)

I don't know what the situation is here of course, but it'd be a serious shame if the X-plane product folded. For the last few releases, it's been clearly a notch or two above the Microsoft simulator as far as a "hardcore hobbyist" sim goes, and it isn't like there's a massive company behind it. They're a pretty small operation I think, trying to do something cool in what is for most purposes a dead gaming genre.

Be a real shame, it would.

FlightGear (3, Interesting)

leandrod (17766) | about 2 years ago | (#41340089)

What makes X Plane more serious than Flight Gear, let alone the only serious one?

Re:FlightGear (4, Informative)

Peter Bortas (130) | about 2 years ago | (#41340283)

X-Plane does aerodynamic simulations on that no other civilian solution can touch.

Re:FlightGear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340291)

X-Plane has a pro version that is used in FAA certified [x-plane.com] simulators. Though, interestingly enough, I just found that there have been FAA certified simulators based on FlightGear, too.

Re:FlightGear (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41340349)

FAA certification? [x-plane.com]

Re:FlightGear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340867)

Flight model.

Patent troll sues DRM code (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340091)

I actually have mixed feelings about this one. From http://www.x-plane.com/x-world/lawsuit/details/

Paragraph 12 of the lawsuit states: ”Laminar Research is directly infringing one or more claims of the ’067 patent in this judicial district and elsewhere in Texas, including at least claim 107, without the consent or authorization of Uniloc, by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, X-Plane.”

At first I considered donating for the defence, but to donate for defending DRM? Nah, I'll spend that money on popcorn instead.

Does X-Plane even violate the patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340097)

Looking at the patent, it looks like the patent is on a:

"system comprising: a portable licensing medium configured to communicate with the electronic device and to store license data, the license data configured to be used by the electronic device to determine whether to allow access to the electronic data; and a registration authority configured to communicate with the electronic device"

This sounds like (as referenced in the notes of the patent) a smart-card or dongle system that is centrally administrated. There is no "Portable Licensing Medium" on an iPhone or Android phone that I know of, so there is only 2 of the 3 objects needed by the patent: the Electronic Device (The Phone) and the "Registration Authority" AKA the License server. If they stored the license data on the SD card of an Android phone you may be able to stretch it, but there is no external media slot on the iPhone to store the license key.

Re:Does X-Plane even violate the patent? (1)

jekewa (751500) | about 2 years ago | (#41340371)

X-Plane offers a USB dongle that you can have in your PC instead of the DVD to validate the license. I think that might be what they're talking about.

Not that I agree with them or think that the patent is even valid.

bugger off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340113)

sounds like Google needs to tell this troll to bugger off

Patent fraudsters should be disbarred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340129)

Where there is obvious prior art - large claims are felony fraud.

Knowingly filing flase claims is a felony in many US states.

Many US states have also ruled that lawyers have an obligation to avoid frivolous, fraudulent or excessive claims.

For example, the judge that sued for $30M for his ruined suit pants was fired and disbarred.

Such people are both dishonest and mentally ill.

They are unfit to practice law.

There are so many unemployed lawyers in the US today, we should actively seek to disbar the bad ones.

Re:Patent fraudsters should be disbarred (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340263)

Knowingly filing flase claims is a felony in many US states.

In Eastern Texas, it makes the judge buy you a cup of coffee.

Just sent him $2.99 to help fight ! (1)

ccandreva (409807) | about 2 years ago | (#41340135)

Never heard of X-Plane before, but I just bought the Android version. I wuld never have heard aboutt his otherwise. Patent Troll, meet Streisand effect !

How do we make this problem go away? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340147)

The lawsuit lists the addresses of the "Uniloc" corporation. Could we start an "occupy" protest there? If we can't stop the patent system, can we take the law into our own hands?

Another fine sample (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340151)

of U$A broken legal system.

Emigrate (1)

jbssm (961115) | about 2 years ago | (#41340181)

Seriously, come and live in a free country, like somewhere in the European Union.

Re:Emigrate (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about 2 years ago | (#41340655)

Just what I was thinking. X-Plane is produced by Laminar Research [wikipedia.org] who are based in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. If they moved here (England) they would not have a language problem and could continue to develop and sell X-Plane, but probably no sales to the USA. They would then tell their political representatives why they moved and point out how this was costing the USA economy. If enough companies did this then maybe the message might get through the thick skulls of the politicians.

Re:Emigrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340879)

Because you think politicians care? As long as they get money from the lobyists for it, they'll gladly crash the country into the ground.

Re:Emigrate (1)

jbssm (961115) | about 2 years ago | (#41340881)

Not only that, but people here, hardly go bankrupt to fight a stupid claim in the tribunal.

That's the serious problem in USA. Even if you are right and the law is on your side, you still have abandon your work because you simply don't have enough money to fight a big corporation in the courts. Talk about "liberty and justice for all".

Hand-written envelope (4, Interesting)

waimate (147056) | about 2 years ago | (#41340191)

I got hit by a patent troll a few years back. I used the same technique that I'd used when MSFT once approached us and said they thought we might be infringing on their IP and could we prove that we're not. And again when another large company said we needed to change our logo because it looked like we had dotted a capital 'i', and they owned that. Just ignore them. We got one additional letter from the patent troll, and that was the last ever heard. As someone else has said, these people are looking for deep pools of money.

In the first instance, ignore. If they demand that you must do something by some certain date, ignore. When they send the follow-up, ignore. If they come back a third time, then send a really badly written letter produced on a manual typewriter or written in crayon with a hand-written envelope telling them what they're claiming isn't applicable, but provide no details. Make yourself look small, impoverished and hard work.

Re:Hand-written envelope (1)

waimate (147056) | about 2 years ago | (#41340239)

Sorry - correction: they're not looking for "deep" pools of money otherwise they'd be going after GOOG and MSFT as well. They're looking for modest pools of money.

Re:Hand-written envelope (2)

Grond (15515) | about 2 years ago | (#41340329)

Actually, Uniloc has sued Microsoft, Sony, Adobe, Electronic Arts, [arstechnica.com] and a host of other companies large and small. Some of those suits (such as those against Mojang and EA) were based on the same patent as the suit against Laminar Research. It seems to me that the defendants should try to work out a shared defense, since it's in all of their interests to see the patent invalidated.

I'll also note that it's interesting that Google has apparently not tried to intervene in the suit. Compare that to the Lodsys suit in which Apple intervened on behalf of iOS developers.

Trolls and they know it! (2)

mj1856 (589031) | about 2 years ago | (#41340229)

Wow, this troll thinks they own ALL implementations of "Software Activation" of any kind.. What a bunch of nimrods! Even their own website is super focused on litigation! http://www.uniloc.com/index.php/intellectual-property/ [uniloc.com]

Involving Google in a patent war??? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#41340279)

I can see it now

"Okay we need to find prior art for to break this patent?? Okay task the interns from SanFran unit Baker 12 to run nodes 6854623D - 6854902E to find prior art"

then they come to the courthouse with A LITERAL SEMI-TRUCK LOAD of prior art (and when did WINDOWS start doing GA checks??)

The only serious cross platform Flight Sim? (4, Interesting)

yourlord (473099) | about 2 years ago | (#41340331)

"X-plane is a cross-platform flight simulator app, notably the only serious one that supports Mac OSX and Linux."

And here I've been using http://flightgear.org/ [flightgear.org] all this time. I thought I was using a serious, free, GPL open-source flight simulator that runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.. I'm glad this slashdot post came up to tell me I was wrong.

Dude charges for X-plane.. When you decide to charge for software you accept all the financial responsibility for defending it against litigation. Welcome to it.

Re:The only serious cross platform Flight Sim? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340815)

Sorry man but X-Plane is better as a package. And that FAA certification? Necessary in alot of spaces (ahem defense contractors). If I had no wallet, I'd probably be using flightgear though.

Fucking Uniloc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340359)

Is at that fuck again. Fuck them.

Do not negotiate with terrorists. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340501)

Plain and simple. Patent trolls are economic terrorists and should be extraordinarily rendered to Gitmo for some testicle electrocuting.

captcha: seconded

Austin Meyer (1)

FreakyGeeky (23009) | about 2 years ago | (#41340623)

Austin Meyer is a total asshole. As a paying customer, he treated me like a pirate the one time I asked a support question on his web site. I hope he loses a lot of money.

He spoke to a lawyer (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41340831)

Just the one?

Did it occur to him that perhaps there might be a lawyer who is willing to defend this for less?

Use Kickstarter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340883)

Make a Kickstarter project to raise money for the defense!!!!!!!

IANAL but earlier story re: software patents (1)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | about 2 years ago | (#41340911)

IANAL but here was the story from earlier today Easy Fix For Software Patents Found In US Patent Act [slashdot.org] . I think will go and email the x-plane guy about it as it could be that "Stanford law professor Mark Lemley" may be willing to do some pro-bono work. Or easily ask the EFF and google to chip in. Can't quite see how this company is getting away with this.

I just cannot believe this (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41340915)

Jesus Christ, I cannot believe this. This is really horrible news. Not only is X-Plane the best flight sim out there and I'm flying it for more than 8 years now, it also always used to be the best example for me that a smart guy can make a living nowadays simply by selling software. (They started as a one man company and I think by now are about 4 or something; it's hard to tell because there are so many dedicated hobbyists helping out for free. Not even Microsoft could harm Austin, and now that.

I hope the people at this "Uniloc" will rot in hell!

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