X-Plane creator fights patent troll

Austin Meyer, creator of the popular and ultra-realistic flight sim X-Plane is facing a potentially destructive lawsuit by an East Texas patent troll, Uniloc. Meyer, who has worked on the simulator since 1995, isn’t dealing with a claim against his simulator or the game mechanics within. Instead, he’s being sued for using a simple copy-protection system found in almost all Android programs.

X-Plane has been around for Mac and Windows for years, and Mayer wasted little time adapting the detailed flight sim for iPhone, later bringing it to Android. He’s petitioned the White House for tort reform associated with patent lawsuits (he’s a long way off from getting the signatures needed, though) and he’s also looking for donations to help cover his own court costs.

  • JohnDoey

    The problem is, this is the only way software developers make money on Android: suing another developer, or buying his failed app and selling user data.

    When Android started in late 2008, App Store was already huge and iPhone was a major hit. iOS software developers made a lot of money and Google essentially said, “Android will be like that but bigger because it is open/generic/free.” So a lot of time and money was invested for a couple of years and nobody made any money. Then the hardware collapsed downmarket from $500 phones to $100 phones as iPhone took all the high-end sales. So Android right now is an exercise in people trying to cut their losses by suing or stealing or selling user data.

    Is this guy making any money on X-Plane for Android, or is he one of the faithful, working for Sansung for free? Does he see Android getting healthier going forward? Because the Samsung ASP continues to fall, and they have warned investors their 2013 will be much worse than 2012. Participants in the Android community will likely feed even more on each other going forward.

    Same is starting to happen on Windows now that its ASP has crashed and growth is shrinking. There is no honest money to be made anymore. Many companies will go patent troll.

  • dr.no

    He has been making money since 1995. He has no shame asking for donation. was he running his company as a charity. Gotta love these lame libertarians.

    • Peter Cohen

      Cool it. He’s asking for donations. If you don’t feel like helping, then don’t, but there’s no need to be a dick about it.