Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Patents Games Linux

Patent Troll Sues X-Plane 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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Patent Troll Sues X-Plane

Comments Filter:
  • FlightGear (Score:4, Interesting)

    by leandrod ( 17766 ) <`l' `at' `dutras.org'> on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:18PM (#41340089) Homepage Journal

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

  • by waimate ( 147056 ) on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:25PM (#41340191) Homepage

    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.

  • by yourlord ( 473099 ) on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:33PM (#41340331) Homepage

    "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.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:40PM (#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.

  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Friday September 14, 2012 @05:48PM (#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.

  • Re:Errrm what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Friday September 14, 2012 @09:45PM (#41342777) Journal

    I call that "the honest definition of capitalism."

Don't get suckered in by the comments -- they can be terribly misleading. Debug only code. -- Dave Storer