|Fri, 10/21/2011 - 18:25 — romain||Tweet||
Thursday 29th of September 2011
So the fall season is upon us and by what seemed to be a very quiet yet busy afternoon and after a very typically French lunch, my colleague and GroupCamp co-founder Eric received a Fedex package at the office.
As an entrepreneur in the software industry, you must have read or heard stories about legal documents delivered by Fedex but you would not expect the setting to be in Paris, France.
After opening the Fedex package later in the afternoon, Eric reads about a claim by Lodsys LLC, based in the lone star state of the USA and owner of 4 patents, the Lodsys Patents. According to Lodsys, GroupCamp has infringed upon Lodsys patents as described in a slide deck illustrated with screenshots of GroupCamp Project apps. Eric’s immediate reaction is a mixture of disbelief, confusion and big bursts of laughter. Eric quickly dismisses the whole package as somewhat amusing.
Before leaving the office, a quick look at the letter reveals that it is only a pre-litigation letter and the Lodsys's proposal is a licensing agreement to be set up with one of their legal counsels.
Thursday 4th of October
It could have been the end of the story, but a GroupCamp co-founder easily lets himself be troubled by the very little and seemingly harmless details. Eric ventures into a google search of Lodsys and that is when a series of lawsuits and requests for declaratory judgements came pouring down the search results. Lodsys seems to be troubling, not only the small independent iPhone and Android developers but also Apple, Google, Brother and others.
So that’s when we reached our first conclusion: Lodsys is no joke but a definitely active NPE or, to go with the more common term, a Patent Troll...
...and that’s when we actually started taking this seriously.
Wednesday 5th of October.
(After a short night haunted with bullying trolls)
Eric briefs me on the Lodsys claim and we quickly decide to take this to the Iteanu Law Firm, with whom we had, prior to GroupCamp, previous experience in intellectual property rights.
That same evening we scanned every piece of the package and send evrything over to Olivier Iteanu.
Thursday 6th of October.
The long awaited response from Olivier Itéanu comes in and it has one clear message: we cannot leave the letter unanswered.
We therefore decide to meet on Monday the 21st to start crafting a response.
Surprisingly, at his point in the story, we are in a very buoyant mood.
You should now be avidly looking to read the next piece.