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posted by janrinok on Tuesday September 08 2015, @11:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-the-system-doesn't-work dept.

Iron Speed, a firm which provided a rapid application development tool for creating .NET apps, is shuttering itself thanks to "litigation with a patent troll", according to a letter sent to customers by co-founder and chairman Alan Fisher.

The Iron Speed designer enabled developers to create applications for web, cloud and mobile using a point-and-click interface. Customers include AT&T, Cisco, DHL, Disney, HP and the US Army, according to the company's website. Yet all this is no more, writes Fisher:

There are several reasons for this, one of which has been the ongoing expense of litigation with a patent troll who has challenged our intellectual property. While we feel this is baseless, patent litigation is generally a multi-million dollar exercise. This has put a drain on our resources we can no longer afford, and coupled with excessive cracked key use and license sharing, our product sales have been severely impaired.

We will continue offering Technical Support through December 31 2015, but it is unlikely that there will be future software releases.

Because we are unable to issue any refunds, any customer with current software update or technical support subscriptions has been issued an additional perpetual license in his account.

A thread on the Iron Speed forums confirms the situation and provides more details.

The patent issue seems related to the way the Iron Speed designer generates applications automatically based on a database schema, removing much of the gruntwork in building applications that are essentially forms over data.

Microsoft has its own tool which does this, called LightSwitch, but this has not been updated much in the latest edition of Visual Studio, causing developers to doubt its future. Another issue with LightSwitch is its reliance on the deprecated Silverlight for desktop applications, though it can also generate HTML and JavaScript.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by darkfeline on Wednesday September 09 2015, @12:07AM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Wednesday September 09 2015, @12:07AM (#234011) Homepage

    It's just capitalism doing what it does best. It's much easier to guarantee survival by destroying all potential competitors.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09 2015, @03:42AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09 2015, @03:42AM (#234064)

    No, that's the doing of unregulated market economy. Any system which allows the concentration of power suffers from the same fundamental flaw.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by pkrasimirov on Wednesday September 09 2015, @10:01AM

      by pkrasimirov (3358) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 09 2015, @10:01AM (#234159)

      Actually it is exactly the opposite. The patents are market regulations. You cannot sell A if someone already patented A. Definition of A is in human language, not formal one, and Interpretations of A scope are what streams the injustice.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09 2015, @01:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09 2015, @01:10PM (#234212)

      unregulated market economy = capitalzm

  • (Score: 2) by CirclesInSand on Wednesday September 09 2015, @06:51PM

    by CirclesInSand (2899) on Wednesday September 09 2015, @06:51PM (#234341)

    Really? The government runs the patent system, the government issues these bad patents, the lawyers go to government courts to sue the competition, and the government forces the companies to shut down.

    Despite that, you want to blame free markets? Are you so determined to support authoritarian policy that nothing can change your mind?