I am originally from Canada, and I live in Asia, but, like a lot of software developers, software code I develop on the web is hosted and used within the United States.
Like many, I've heard lots of news recently about patent problems, but most of the focus in stories is about patent trolls and frivolous lawsuits in the United States. However, recently I noticed that Apple won their claims against Samsung in the US, but lost their case in Japan.
I am working on a couple of apps that will hopefully be made available on iPhone, Android, and on the web. And I'm a little nervous that certain aspects of my code might be a target for patent trolls.
But I have no idea of the extent of US patents, or if those patents are global, or what's going on. If a patent is global, how can a company like Apple defend their patents in one country but not in another? If a developer like me lives outside the US but a service I operate has code existing on servers in the US, can I be sued?
I hope my question is specific enough, but essentially I'm trying to work out how the (broken, in my opinion) US patent system impacts development in a global world, where code moves in and out of US borders as a matter of course.