Vodafone looks for Magic applications
Just provide an idea, and legal indemnity
Vodafone is looking for ideas to develop as Android applications, with 10 HTC Magic handsets for the top ideas, plus a prize of £1000 and a promise to develop the very best one.
The Magic is an Android-based handset, and Vodafone is hoping to sell the handset on the basis of the applications available for it - something Apple has managed with the iPhone but which remains difficult for everyone else. So Vodafone is offering a prize of £1000 to encourage anyone over 16 to submit an idea, as long as they are also prepared to indemnify Vodafone against any patent infringement that might emerge.
The idea is good, and Vodafone should be commended for asking only that entrants provide 200-word* descriptions rather than working applications, but the terms & conditions do seem to lean a little in the operator's favour:
"You hereby represent and warrant to the Promoter that: the Entry ... does not infringe any third party rights, including but not limited to intellectual property rights"
...but what if you've been lackadaisical in your patent research?
"you shall indemnify and hold [Vodafone] harmless In full and on demand against any loss, cost, damage, injury or expense that Promoter may incur as a result of any breach by you"
But in return for taking the risk you'll presumably share the rewards?
"the winner will have no involvement in the development or commercial exploitation of the Application"
So if you've got a great idea for an Android application, and don't want to develop it yourself, but would like to take legal responsibility for its uniqueness, then you've got until the 20th of September to tell Vodafone about it - perhaps you'll get lucky and be a runner up who just gets an HTC Magic. ®
* 800 characters on the web form, which assumes an average of three letters per word - so use short words.