Princess Nuriko … quite some trouble

I’m a bit in a hurry, so this post will end up not grammer checked and won’t even show a pretty picture.

Last thursday i received a Patent Infringement Claim from the Texas based company Lodsys LLC. Via mail (not email) they did send me a multi page cover letter + abstracts of 4 of their patents. Additionally a personalized letter that contains 3 screenshots from my game Princess Nuriko and how it appears on the Google Android Market.

The personalized screenshots describe, how the demo of my game is infringing (right word?) their U.S. Patent No. 7222078 by having a button that says “Buy Full Game (via Market)” and then opens the url to the page of Google Android Market where a potential customer can buy my game from Google.

As far as i understand, its pretty similar to what is decribed in this article at BBC from last friday:

I am posting this here, as i currently need any advices from people with similar experiences. I am trying to find legal advice on the topic here at my hometown but would additionally like to hear from others about their experiences. (Experiences generally with patent claims toward “tiny” software developers like me, and especially experiences with Lodsys regarding this patent and the smartphone market (iOS or Android)).

I’m very puzzled about the situation. Bbecause the Patent is hard to understand to me and especially difficult to see how having a link to Googles Android Market, is actually able to infringe a software patent.

But i am also very puzzled why the would like to write to me, as one of their screenshots clearly shows that my game has ONLY sold a few times more than 50 times. So there is really not much money i have made from (to be exact it is 120 euros). Which means that they either picked me randomly or i am just one of many many people they mailed. Basically if this mail would have been written, printed, and send from Germany it would have cost much money – more money anyone could expect to get back with license payments from such a tiny company as i am currently.

I intentionally did not post photographs or excerpts of their letters here, because as far as i know this is also protected by copyright – so please do not ask me for such details.

Any help in that matter, forwarding this site to others you know is very apreciated. You can either write something in the comments here or mail me via my site at (look at the bottom).

Daniel Renkel

Daniel 'sirleto' Renkel is a true indie game developer (at heart ;) and a part time simulation engineer (space- & aircrafts). He's studied computer science at the university of Darmstadt, Germany and has a background of 8 years as game developer (assistant projectmanager, game designer, associate producer and technical artist). He worked on a whole number of PC and console games including the Aquanox series. Visit for more information about this current android mobile phone games.

8 responses to “Princess Nuriko … quite some trouble”

  1. Gregory Weir

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been following this issue; they’re evidently going to do a panel on the topic to help educate developers. In some circumstances, they offer legal representation, especially on cutting-edge issues where the person can’t afford other representation. I’d suggest taking a look at the links in the post I link above for more details on the legitimacy of the case.

  2. Kirkpad

    I did not expect to see this posted here! I have been following a blog by a long-time activist and analyst of copyright/patents. He has been giving advice to iPhone/Android developers on what to do next.

    He is encouraging everyone to participate in that EFF panel, as well as demand coverage from the platform maker (Google). If Google doesn’t fully cover it’s app developers than you’d be best off settling with Lodsys, from the sounds of it.

    I don’t really know much about patents either, but it seems like developers are in a bind until they settle, or until Google steps up.

  3. Yu-Chung Chen

    WTF! Can’t offer any help but hope it works out. Keep us updated. Best of luck!

  4. Davide

    Lodsys has made it harder and harder for indies to survive this crazy market. I’m forwarding this. Good luck.

  5. FromD

    Daniel. Ignoriere den Brief. Die würden Dich nicht anklagen aus den USA – das würde denen sehr viel Geld kosten.

    1. GhostLyrics

      Es ist prinzipiell keine kluge Idee den Brief einfach so zu ignorieren. Selbst unter der Annahme, dass eine Klage aus den USA für den Kläger teuer sein könnte, sind hier zumindest – und das macht Daniel ja bereits – weitere Informationen und klärende Stellungnahmen einzuholen.

      1. FromD

        Sicherlich richtig. Stundenlohn eines Patentanwaltes >200EUR. Na dann.

  6. Shorlan

    Ack, this is simply a ridiculous abuse of the system. From what I could read from the link you posted, Lodsys LLC supposedly has a patent on the upgrade feature to go from a trial version to a full version of a product. They then go around trying to bully any small time developer to settle with them or go to court.
    Apple’s best response is that they already paid this extortion fee off, so their devs shouldn’t also have to.
    Google’s response is trying to get the patents reevaluated and revoked completely, which is the correct course of action except the patents are kept purposefully vague to try to remain as generically legal and confounding as possible.
    Let us know if this gets resolved, hopefully with a happy ending!


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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