Busting a Mobile App Dev Patent

A company named Appsbar has been granted a patent on creating a cross-platform mobile app via code generation via a specific user interface.

This patent is actually fairly narrow in scope, as it requires a particular flow of user interface for collecting the information that drives the code generation process. It is really designed for those “create your own mobile app” sorts of Web sites, more than anything normally associated with traditional software development.

However, the firm has stated that they intend to go after “other companies that currently provide similar types of services”. Patents, when used as offensive weapons, nowadays tend to get used in a “shotgun” approach, where anything vaguely resembling the patent is a possible target, in a process reminiscent of mob-style shakedowns. At least, that is the pattern here in the US, where software patents abound.

Hence, I am starting to collect prior art on this patent, courtesy of StackExchange’s Ask Patents site. I have lots of notes on this market segment, which I will be perusing and posting to the Ask Patents item over time.

However, if you are familiar with any “create your own mobile app” sites or related techology, please post answers to the item. In particular, I am interested in those that might have been created before February 14, 2012 (or, better yet, April 6, 2011, when a related provisional patent was applied for), as they would represent possible prior art for the patent.

Thanks in advance!

Want an expert opinion on your Android app architecture decisions? Perhaps Mark Murphy can help!