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Martha Stewart files lawsuit against Lodsys following patent infringement accusations

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Lodsys, perhaps the poster child for patent trolls over the past few years, is happy to attack potential targets both big and small, and they've picked one that apparently isn't taking their attack lying down. As reported by GigaOm, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) has filed a complaint in a Wisconsin federal court against Lodsys. The patent trolling company had apparently contacted Stewart's corporation, claiming that four of her iPad magazines infringed on a number of Lodsys patents and asking for $5,000 for each offending magazine to license the allegedly infringing technology. Unlike the small app developers that Lodsys typically preys on, however, Stewart's company isn't interested in playing ball. The civil action filed this week asks the court for a "declaratory judgement" against Lodsys — MSLO wants the court to affirm that none of its iPad magazines infringe upon any of Lodsys' patents.

Furthermore, it goes a step further and asks the court to declare that all of the patents indicated in the suit are invalid — a ruling that could help other companies dealing with Lodsys. MSLO's lawsuit also points out the 151 cases that Lodsys has filed in Texas; it notes that in nearly all of those cases, Lodsys was the plaintiff and most cases settled for "amounts far below the cost of litigation." Reading between the lines, it sounds like MSLO is implying what we've all known for some time — that Lodsys is a predatory patent troll that goes after companies that can't afford to defend themselves. Beyond fighting with Martha Stewart, the company is also under fire from Oracle (who is also suing in an effort to stop Lodsys) Apple, Google, and now the Electronic Frontier Foundation.