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Crazy patent troll suing devs for posting apps to Google Play

by Jacob Kleinman | June 7, 2016June 7, 2016 12:00 pm PST

Patent trolls have been a thorn in the side of the tech industry for as long as we can remember, claiming ownership over general ideas like Wi-Fi or podcasts and then suing anyone who uses that technology. Now one developer is fighting back after he was sued for putting his flight simulator app on Google Play.

Austin Meyer is the developer behind X-Plane. A few years ago, he uploaded the app to the Google Play Store and was very unexpectedly hit with a lawsuit from Uniloc in 2012. The firm claims it patented the idea behind the app market. That’s right, Uniloc isn’t going after the Meyer for making a flight simulator; it’s going after any company that uses Google Play. It’s already targeted a bunch of other popular apps, including Minecraft.

So Meyer did a bit of digging and discovered a few pretty shocking details. We already knew that the vast majority of patent lawsuits happen in Eastern Texas, even if the specific case has no relation to that region. Now we may know why.

It turns out the judge in that district may have a direct relationship with the prosecuting lawyer in many of these cases. The judge, Leonard Davis, is apparently known for almost never throwing out patent lawsuits. Meyer claims that his son, Bo Davis, is the lawyer representing many of these patent trolls.

It’s worth noting that Judge Leonard Davis announced last year he’s leaving the bench to join a private law firm focused on patent litigation, according to The Wall Street Journal. We assume that means he isn’t currently presiding over the X-Plane case, though Meyer doesn’t mention this in his video.

Meyer says on his site the lawsuit is still ongoing, causing plenty of stress and a huge financial burden for him and his wife. It’s possible this video, which was uploaded over the weekend, could help draw some attention to the case and help finally put an end to the ordeal.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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