UPDATED - July 18, 2011
I can now officially announce and extremely pleased to say, Widget Press has been dismissed without prejudice of MacroSolve's claims against the 816 patent. What this basically means, is Widget Press is no longer in a lawsuit with MacroSolve, however, MacroSolve can bring forth a patent lawsuit against Widget Press again on the same 816 patent claims at anytime.
How did this happen? I cannot provide you with the details of why or how this came about, but what I can say, this was a Voluntary Dismissal and everyone that contributed to our legal defense helped to make this happen. Thank you and I'm truly humbled.
And I'm proud to say, our software is not going away anytime soon. We are excited to be moving forward and releasing some great software to our customers.
I would like to thank everyone for linking and talking about this web page. All of you have been a great source of strength and have been uplifting to our morale during these uncertain times. For the slow release patches during the past few months, I also would like to apologizes to our customers. I hope you will understand. We are back on track and our next two software updates should be released this week. We are going to make things right.
Finally, being released from the 816 patent lawsuit doesn't mean the end of software patents, the end for the other defendants or that the plaintiff will not sue your company. If you have an electronic form in your app, (Yes, even embedding WebKit), it retrieves form data from a server, it displays a form, your user inputs information and it post data to a server, you are technically infringing about the 816 patent. If you believe you have any prior art on the "electronic form", I encourage you to submit prior art today to Article One Partners. You could receive $10,000 USD for providing information on this study.
Now, we have one last task to complete, pay our legal fees.
Thank you for listening,
June 7, 2011
Some of you may have known, that Widget Press is being sued for patent infringing on US Patent US Patent 7,822,816 (816) that covers data collection on a mobile device using an electronic form. A lot of folks have generous offered financial assistance in helping Widget Press during this difficult time. Thank you. This post is mostly to address how you can help and to discuss briefly about the lawsuit we are in. If you feel so inclined to help us out after reading this post, please feel free to support Widget Press in any way you can.
We do not agree with this patent and we believe there is plenty of prior art that would make this patent invalid. The problem for us, we are in a lawsuit and to fight this is extremely expensive. To showcase prior art in a patent lawsuit is economically not possibly for us given the current state of the US Patent system.
Fighting a patent lawsuit is extremely expensive and it is something we could not even imagined would happen to us. We always been very public about the size of our company. There's is no doubt that our plaintiff has specifically targeted small companies with their patent.
MacroSolve, Inc. vs. Widget Press, Inc. (6-11-cv-00194-LED)
On Tuesday April 25th, Widget Press, Inc., along with 5 other defendants, was served with a Federal lawsuit (6-11-cv-00194) from MacroSolve out of Tulsa, Oklahoma for Patent Infringement on the 816 patent. Just like Lodsys patent lawsuit, both have been filed in the patent friendly Eastern district of Texas. It also indicated that Widget Press needed to provide an answer within 21 days, which of course we will do. We've already filed for a 30 day extension. Turns out Widget Press is part of the second wave of lawsuits initiated by MacroSolve. And now, as of today, June 7th, another 20 more companies are being sued, bringing the number up to 30 companies.
Immediately upon receipt of the lawsuit, I jumped into the document to find any reference of Widget Press and read this:
"Count 1; Widget Press directly or through intermediaries, made, had made, used, imported, provided, supplied, distributed, sold, and/or offered for sale products and/or systems (including at its FormEntry products and systems) that infringed on one or more claims of the 816 patent, and/or Widget Press induced infringement and/or contributed to the infringement of one or more of the claims of the 816 patent by its customers."
Patent infringement? How could FormEntry be infringing? FormEntry is not rocket science, it is a data collection tool. Not knowing anything about this MacroSolve, I fired up Google and went to work.
When I found the 816 patent and read the title "System and method for data management" and that it was granted on October 26, 2010, I was extremely perplexed at to why the US Patent office would grant a patent on the electronic form in the year 2010. In part, the 816 patent states:
"In its broadest sense, the present invention is a method designed to accomplish the following: 1) Allow any computer(s) (desktops, laptops, handhelds, portables, etc.) to be used to capture information; 2) Transfer the information to a data center (via file transfer methods such as a network, to include, but not necessarily, Internet based) in a form that the data center can recognize; 3) Allow another computer(s) to access the information and download it from the data center in a format that can be readily used regardless of the format in which the original information was gathered."
After reading through the entire patent a number of times, it is simply hard to believe this patent even exists. There is so much I would like to say about our case, but given that Widget Press is currently in settlement talks with MacroSolve (again, we cannot afford to fight this case), it's extremely important that we limit ourselves to what is publicly available online.
Helping out Widget Press
If you would like to help offset the legal fees, we would be greatly appreciate any type of support. The following donation form goes straight to Widget Press for funding its attorneys in defense of the 816 patent. Hopefully, this patent will become invalid soon before too much damage is done in the mobile app space.
Thanks for listening,