Business Technology

Sunday 22 October 2017

Angry Birds maker sued by US firm for ‘violating patents’

A poster for the game Angry Birds, the popular iPhone app
A poster for the game Angry Birds, the popular iPhone app

Emma Barnett

The maker of Angry Birds, Rovio, is being sued by an American company, Lodsys, for allegedly violating its patents.

The Finnish games company has come under fire from the Texan company for ‘violating Lodsys patents’ which it claims cover the methods Angry Birds uses to allow players to purchase new levels inside its mobile apps.

This alleged control of this type of in app payment has prevented several European games developers launching their apps stateside.

“The US patent system allows software implementations of ideas to be patented, which differs significantly from the European Union, although the European Parliament has been considering aligning patent rights with the US,” according to Start up Smart, a website for new businesses and entrepreneurs.

“The growth of lawsuits in the US by so-called “patent trolls” – which simply demand payments after assessing intellectual property rights – poses a major threat to the burgeoning mobile app market.”

Rovio was unavailable for comment.

The lawsuit has prompted lots of European games developers to assess whether to withdraw their apps from the US App Store out of fear of being sued for the same ‘patent violation’ by Lodsys.

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