updated 07:30 pm EDT, Wed June 15, 2011
Article One pays if Lodsys patents ruled invalid
Lodsys faced added pressure Wednesday after Article One Partners started up a trio of bounties (one, two, three) against its patents. Anyone who successfully finds an instance of prior art or otherwise shows a given patent is likely invalid will be paid $5,000 for the work. The effort is part of a regular campaign that has targeted other questionable patent holders, such as MacroSolve, and was meant to help developers and others that didn't have the resources to defend against a patent troll campaign.
"The use of crowdsourcing here has become a revolutionary change in the industry because the people who are now being impacted aren't really able to help themselves in defense," Article One's chief Cheryl Malone told CNET.
She noted that most of these cases finish within six weeks and often get the first results within a few hours. Article One wasn't paying for the bounty but wouldn't say who was behind the funding.
Lodsys started out in February by suing major companies and has lately swung its attention to stores like Best Buy. Its lawsuit against iOS app developers, however, has been counting on the targets' lack of resources to push them into settlements without the ability to contest the validity of the patents. Apple has stepped in to mount opposition of its own.
The suing company has faced an increasing backlash and has been sued itself, both in attempts to have its patents invalidated and out of claims it was unfairly depriving companies of legitimate business.