iOS and Android Developers Plan to Boycott Apple and Google over Lodsys and Macrosolve’s Patent Trolling

Tired of being harassed by patent trolls like Lodsys and Macrosolve, which have been suing them over basic features like in-app purchasing, some app developers on the iOS and Android platforms have let out a call encouraging other developers to rally together and boycott Google and Apple for not helping them actively.

Though Apple and Google have announced that they would be assisting developers on their platforms with these lawsuits, they haven’t been much help yet. Some developers are urging others to pull their apps down from the iOS App Store and the Android Market for 5 days starting September 30 until Apple and Google decide to help them with the lawsuits against these trolls.

Here’s the original post at DevsUnite:

Macrosolve and Lodsys

September 30, 2011 – October 4, 2011
Starting 12 AM Friday to 11:59 PM Tuesday

Apple and Google are dragging their feet to assist with the Macrosolve and Lodsys patent bullying of small businesses, entrepeneurs, and developers. Without Apple’s and Google’s assistance, the app development community is vulnerable to the strategic attacks made by these companies. Since no Union for developers exists, individual developers are defenseless to the financial and legal bullying brought on by Lodsys and Macrosolve. Small companies and developers cannot afford to invalidate the patents claims made by Macrosolve and Lodsys. In protest, we have no choice but to voice our discontent for the lack of assistance. Have we not given our 30% of the cut for a reason? Starting Friday Sept. 30, 2011 to Tuesday October 4, 2011, developers may want to consider removing their apps from the iPhone and Android Market (or other Markets) to show their support for the developers community. You may lose a few dollars out of the process, but collectively, the disruption will help bring attention to this patent crisis. So you have to decide whether to lose a few dollars vs. losing much more when Macrosolve or Lodsys decides to go after you. For those who think by keeping your app on the market will allow you more visibility on those days, it only allows Macrosolve and Lodsys to discover you more easily. Don’t be surprised if they elect to go after you. Then your worse nightmare will begin.

There will be attempts to take this posting down. Share this message via email with other developers or use the link below.

Should Apple and Google prevent developers from accessing their accounts,then removal of apps will begin the day they open up access again.

Personally, I think this effort will largely be a failure. There are hundreds of thousands of app developers on both platforms with more than 700,000 apps between them. Unless a lot of Top 100 apps are pulled down, there is no chance that the average user will even notice the missing apps. And even if he does, there is no guarantee that Google or Apple will do anything more than they already are.

Given how difficult it is to get into the top 100, I doubt any developer would be willing to risk his position in the list by pulling their app down for a few days. Anyways, we will keep you updated.

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