While the Lodsys saga with Apple and its developers drudges on, another company has decided to join in the patent troll party. This time, it’s an Indian-based company by the name of Kootol, and this time, they’re not just going after the little guys.
FOSSPatents is reporting that Kootol has distributed a press release announcing that it has sent “notices” to a long list of companies (large and small) regarding their use of Kootol’s Intellectual Property. The IP in question involves social “feeds” like you’d find in Twitter or Facebook…
Kootol’s pending patent application – yeah, it’s still “pending,” it’s not even a patent yet – is based on a method and system for communication, advertising, searching, sharing and dynamically providing a journal feed. The company says that they have filed for patents in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
On March 30, 2011, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued a Notice of Allowance for Kootol’s patent application, which means that it’s more than likely to get approved soon. So who all has the company sent these “notices” to?
Kootol published a list of recipients yesterday which included every social networking service you can think of (Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, Linkedin, Foursquare, etc.), along with companies like Microsoft, Research in Motion and Apple.
And not only is the firm going after the big dogs, iOS developers like Iconfactory have also received word from Kootol that they are infringing on the aforementioned IP. The sad part is, the makers of Twitteriffic are already battling a patent-related case with Lodsys.
If you ask me, I think the out-of-date patent system needs a serious overhaul. How can Kootol file for a patent 7-8 years after most of these companies started using their “invention?” Why don’t we just shut down mobile software innovation all together?
What do you think?