Computational knowledge firm Wolfram Alpha has become the latest technology vendor to get sucked into the ongoing legal dispute with patent firm Lodsys, filing a declaratory judgement action against the firm in order to protect its patents.
Lodsys has spent much of 2011 trying to sue mobile app developers who the company claims are in violation of its patents, which centre around in-app payment technology.
Wolfram Alpha and the associated Wolfram Research claimed in a filing with the District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin that Lodsys had asked the firm to license its patents for use in its iPad app.
"Wolfram Alpha now seeks a declaratory judgement that it does not infringe any valid claim of the Lodsys patents," the filing revealed.
Patents expert Florian Mueller claimed that Wolfram's declaratory filing is the eighth so far against Lodsys, coming hot on the heels of a filing by CRM firm RightNow Technologies.
Lodsys' main gripe seems to be with the app's feedback form, the same point of contention used in "most if not all" of its patent disputes, he explained.
However, Lodsys has done itself no favours by making some basic errors in the assertion letter it originally sent to Wolfram Alpha, Mueller argued.
"It went out in late April and is addressed to a company named 'Mathmatica'," he said.
"Actually, Mathematica (note the 'e', which Lodsys consistently omits throughout its letter and claim chart) is a product, not a company, but it was published by Wolfram Research, which is affiliated with Wolfram Alpha, the company that runs the namesake search engine."
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