Info
Paris | Published on: November 4, 2011
Social media pitch
GroupCamp decides not to give in to patent troll Lodsys and launches call for contribution #lodsys #stoplodsys http://pr.co/p/000nnr
Summary
On the 29th of September 2011, GroupCamp has received a letter from Lodsys, a LLC based in Texas United States. Lodsys claims that GroupCamp is in breach of the Lodsys patents in its web-based services to businesses. Lodsys LLC has been active in 2011 in suing small independent mobile app developers and other larger companies based in the United States.
Details

Paris, the 4th of November 2011. GroupCamp has decided to launch an initiative against Lodsys LLC to inform and welcome the community of mobile and web-based app developers who have received the Lodsys pre-litigation letter. GroupCamp has set up dedicated pages in both English and French to inform about the initiative:  http://www.groupcamp.fr/lodsys,  http://www.groupcamp.com/lodsys.

The "Patent Trolls"
The "Patent Trolls" or NPE (Non Practicing Entities) are companies dedicated to the acquisition of patents with the intention of seeking licensing agreements with companies claimed to be infringing such patents. This practice although very common in the United States is not common in Europe which has a different patent law with respect to software technology.

The way Lodsys operates
Based on publicly available information, Lodsys LLC follows the same modus operandi with an initial pre-litigation letter containing a covering letter, together with screenshots of the infringing party’s application with description of the claimed infringement. The package also contains copies of the Lodsys patents, whose inventor is Mr. Abelow.

Below is an extract of the signed letter of Lodsys LLC’s CEO Mark Small to GroupCamp : "We are interested in reaching a negotiated non-litigation licensing arrangement with you for all of your uses of the Lodsys Patents under your brand names and would like to discuss this matter with you within 21 days of your receipt of this letter. Please contact the undersigned at your earliest convenience".
The letter contains a list of us-based law firms retained by Lodsys LLC to handle the licensing agreement.

Eric Hassid, CEO and co-founder of GroupCamp stated that "What has been the trend in the United States is to avoid legal fees by paying the licensing agreement. Small businesses such as GroupCamp do not have the means to engage into legal battles even if the underlying claim has no value. The recent innovation in the field of mobile and web-based applications is at risk if NPEs succeed in forcing small independent developers to give in. This would create a serious anti-competitive practice where only large high-tech companies would be able to compete"

Why GroupCamp?
GroupCamp is a young innovative company founded end of 2008 and based in Paris, France. GroupCamp provides web-based software which are accessed and delivered to end-uers via a web browser. In December of 2010, GroupCamp launched GroupCamp Project, an online project management software availble in French, English, Spanish, German and Russian.

"To the best of our knowledge, GroupCamp is the first European-based company to receive a pre-litigation letter from Lodsys for offering web-based services to businesses. We do not match the usual profile of developers which Lodsys had been targetting up till now. We believe that by going beyond the scope of US-based app developers, Lodsys might now be targeting Europe and web-based apps," said Eric Hassid.

Why the call for contribution
GroupCamp has decided to launch an inititiative in an effort to help companies who are or will be in the same situation. The initiative aims at sharing all the public knowledge on the Lodsys patents and publish or refer to existing prior art research against the surviving claims of the Lodsys patents.

"We have limited human and financial means against deep-pocketed companies such as Lodsys. This is why we are bringing our initiative to the web. We would like to thank the Iteanu Law Firm for their help in assisting us during this initiative." declared Dickel Sooriah, co-founder of GroupCamp.

The objectives of the online space dedicated to the initiative are to:
  • inform as widely as possible on all known activities regarding Lodsys patents,
  • provide the tools to share relevant related information on the web,
  • welcome companies across the world who are facing similar actions from Lodsys,
  • collect proof on reexamination and prior art research against the surviving claims of the Lodsys Patents,
  • collect legal arguments in a dedicated legal section by lawyer Olivier Itéanu,
  • inform and relay any other forms of support for the initiative.


Welcoming developers and entrepreneurs from all countries
GroupCamp wants to help out by sharing available knowledge on how to react when receiving a Lodsys pre-litigation letter. “We are not patent experts and we therefore believe that cooperation between entrepreneurs can help answer the common questions: what to do when receiving the Lodsys letter or understanding what is the claimed infringement. We want to work on the facts and GroupCamp will start by publishing its own data,” said Dickel SOORIAH  

About GroupCamp
GroupCamp is a young innovative venture based in Paris France. GroupCamp develops web-based also known as cloud-based applications or software in SaaS (software as a service mode). GroupCamp services are designed for businesses. In December of 2010 GroupCamp launched GroupCamp project, its first offering dedicated to online project management. GroupCamp services are available in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian

Quotes
What has been the trend in the United States is to avoid legal fees by paying the licensing agreement. Small businesses such as GroupCamp do not have the means to engage into legal battles even if the underlying claim has no value. The recent innovation in the field of mobile and web-based applications is at risk if NPEs succeed in forcing small independent developers to give in. This would create a serious anti-competitive practice where only large high-tech companies would be able to compete

— Eric Hassid, CEO and co-founder of GroupCamp
"We have limited human and financial means against deep-pocketed companies such as Lodsys. This is why we are bringing our initiative to the web. We would like to thank the Iteanu Law Firm for their help in assisting us during this initiative."

— Dickel Sooriah, co-founder of GroupCamp