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Lodsys replies to Apple, sues app developers

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2011
News Categories: Apple, Apps + Games

Following legal threats made to third-party iOS application developers and a strongly worded response from Apple, Lodsys has filed suit against seven developers while denying Apple’s claims. FOSS Patents has identified the seven developers named in the suit as Combay, Iconfactory, Illusion Labs, Machael G. Karr, Quickoffice, Richard Shinderman, and Wulven Games. At issue in the case is a Lodsys patent entitled “Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Units of a Commodity Across a Network”, which it claims covers in-app purchase and upgrade button technology.

In a series of posts on its company blog, Lodsys claims that it “chose to move its litigation timing to an earlier date than originally planned”—it had promised to give app developers 21 days to respond—“in response to Apple’s threat, in order to preserve its legal options.” In discussing Apple’s response, in which the company claimed that its licenses gave third-party developers “undisputable” freedom to use Lodsys’ patents, Lodsys claims that it has “no discernable basis in law or fact.” The company goes on to state that it has sent a letter to Apple explaining its legal position on the license interpretation issue. Finally, Lodsys claims that it will pay $1,000 to each developer or entity to which it sends an infringement notice should Apple’s existing license rights turn out to cover their work. [via Mac Rumors]

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Comments

1

What PR “genius” told them to boast they were betting a whole $7,000 they were wrong?

$1,000 won’t even cover the cost of filing a defense to this idiotic money grab for the developers themselves.

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on June 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM (PDT)

2

Well God knows about these inside litigations but apple is a big company and there must be somthing wrong thats why this all happens

Posted by Angelina on June 1, 2011 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

3

Oh boy… The plot thickens here.  How much you want to make a bet that Apple themselves will end up suing this Lodsys outfit?  I would hope that Apple could provide a defense for the developers so affected by these ridiculous lawsuits.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on June 1, 2011 at 7:16 PM (PDT)

4

Can you imagine trying to be Edison or the Wright brothers in today’s insane patent environment? Being the first to implement something in a working fashion would do you no good - there’d be a pack of leeches waiting to collect royalties off of you because they came up with the idea for electric light or a flying machine.

This case is beyond insane. Lodsys created and implemented exactly nothing. Apple licensed their “technology” anyhow because, well, Apple’s is as bad as anyone for claiming “rights” over ideas and they can’t very well to bend the same rules they’re so fond of using. Now Lodsys sees $$$ and is randomly going after devs for such brilliant ideas as IAP and, I love this one, an upgrade button because they didn’t license the “rights” to do this from Lodsys directly…

Answer me this: since Apple doesn’t, to the best of my knowledge, make a single iOS app that takes advantage of the Lodsys patents, what exactly does Lodsys think they licensed all that “IP” for if not for their app store via 3rd party developers?

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on June 2, 2011 at 4:51 AM (PDT)

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