Lodsys replies to Apple, sues app developers

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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