Subway’s Windows Phone “Subway Locator” app is a good example of the abandonware that litters the Windows Phone Store, being low on features and last updated in 2012.
I suspect then that Subway never expected the app to be the target of litigation.
Eff.org reports that “non-practicing entity” Novelpoint claims to have a patent which covers some feature of the app, which lets users:
Don’t know where to find a local Subway? We’re here to help. This app will display a list of local Subway locations along with the ability to get directions and let your friends know where to meet you.
Novelpoint’s U.S. Patent No. 6,442,485, “Method and apparatus for an automatic vehicle location, collision notification, and synthetic voice,” filed in 1999, has been used by the company to bilk nearly 100 other actual productive companies from what eff.org assumes is sums small enough to make it more worthwhile for companies to settle rather than employ the services of a legal team.
Patent trolls are of course the antithesis of progress, but to have them target a Windows Phone app is doubly harmful – as if we need another reason to lose apps from the store.
Read more about the case at Eff.org here.