Laminar Research, the legendary company behind realistic flight simulation tool X-Plane, as well as Electronic Arts and Square Enix are being sued by Australian company Uniloc in a spit of new patent trolling by the infamously court-hungry corporation.
Uniloc has claimed a patent breach of the vague licensing system that requires communication with a server to perform a check to prevent the unauthorized use of applications.
Whilst many folks are pro-piracy (including ourselves), Laminar Research’s X-Plane is a brilliant simulation tool that costs roughly $69, most of which would cover the huge stack of discs and mapping content provided with the simulator.
Uniloc is seeking damages and ongoing royalties from the developers of 9 companies.
Prior to this action, Uniloc has notoriously filed patent infringement suits against Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec in the past, demanding big cash and priding themselves on suing the companies surrounding them.
Whilst Laminar Research isn’t exactly a not-for-profit company, they are relatively small in comparison to the other companies being sued by Uniloc. Their research and dedication into flight simulation and pilot training has been widely praised by professionals, enthusiasts and gamers who just wanted to pretend to fly a plane into a river for fun.
You can contribute to their legal costs here and please do comment with your thoughts and support for Laminar’s Austin Meyer who released this statement:
I am told that it will cost me about $1,500,000 (one and a half MILLION dollars) to defend this suit.
He also told me that it should take about two to three years to defend.
This is more money than I have made selling Android Apps in the first place.
Under these conditions, does it make sense for me to be in business?
Does it make sense for me to make a cool little App like X-Plane for Android and release it?
Does it make sense for me to do business in the United Sates, where frivolous lawsuits (unlike in other nations) go un-punished?
Uniloc demands in its suit that I pay them “on-going, post-judgement royalty”, though I promise that they have never written a single line X-Plane source code.
They have written NONE of X-Plane, yet they claim that I owe them “on-going, post-judgement royalty”.
What ELSE could I do with $1,500,000 and 3 years?
Recent projects that have cost me similar time and money have been the Meyer/Finlay Pet adoption center (which is getting hundreds, and soon thousands, of animals from the pound adopted) and development of the Vertical Power VP-400 (which is a display for real airplanes that shows the pilot how he can glide to a safe landing after the engine quits).
Future projects I hope to undertake include a high-efficiency rotary engine prototype for experimental aircraft use, an endowment scholarship to my high school, and another pet adoption centre.
Which of the projects above shall I shelve to pay my defence fees instead?
How much TIME is being taken away from improving X-Plane to spend on this lawsuit? How many features and improvements will X-Plane NOT get because of this?
What impact is the STRESS of this lawsuit going to have on me? How will that translate into development of X-Plane for my customers?
I and my wife have a single daughter, and would like a second child, but my wife will not get pregnant while under the threat of losing everything we have to a lawsuit from a company that has contributed nothing to us.