Apple throws weight behind devs on patent issue

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    Posted: 23 May 2011 04:03 PM

    CNET is reporting that Apple have sent the dogs into Lodsys:

    Apple has sent notice to Lodsys, as well as developers targeted by the patent holdings firm, saying it has the rights to in-app purchase, and that it will defend those license rights.

    Developers MobileAge, the makers of the Shanghai app, received a letter from Apple’s senior vice president and general counsel Bruce Sewell this morning telling them that the company’s already licensed the four patents in Lodsys’ portfolio, and that said license allows Apple’s customers and business partners similar coverage to use it.

    “Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claims by Lodsys,” Sewell wrote.

    Lodsys, triggered a controversy earlier this month when it began going after developers—instead of Apple—in seeking a licensing fee on apps that made use of the in-app purchase (IAP) feature, threatening those who did not comply with legal action. Apple has included IAP as a tool for developers to charge for additional features since iOS 3.0.

    In the letter, Apple requests that Lodsys withdraw letters sent to developers about the issue, as well as “cease its false assertions that the App Makers’ use of licensed Apple products and services in any way constitute infringement of any Lodsys patent.”

    “It’s definitely smiles around here in the office,” said MobileAge president Ken Landau in a phone interview. “Now we have a letter from Apple saying they have the rights to the patents, and partners and developers have rights to use it. That’s good because Shanghai is very popular, and it helps pay the bills.”

    [ Edited: 23 May 2011 04:06 PM by John Molloy ]



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    Posted: 23 May 2011 04:05 PM #1

    The full letter can be accessed here:



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    Posted: 23 May 2011 04:23 PM #2

    Very glad to read of this. The iOS ecosystem is critical to AAPL moving forward.

  • Posted: 23 May 2011 04:54 PM #3

    Does anyone know if Google offers any indemnification to its developers if these guys or other patent trolls come after their developers?  My understanding is that they don’t but I am not certain of that.

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    Posted: 23 May 2011 04:54 PM #4

    Only makes sense, really.

    Apple loves developers despite what many may say.  Also helps when the tech company backing you has a war chest large enough to sue and be sued until the end of time.

    Nice letter, Mr. Sewell.

    [ Edited: 23 May 2011 04:57 PM by Mav ]


    The Summer of AAPL is here.  Enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts.
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    Posted: 10 June 2011 01:52 PM #5

    More good news for developers, but it ain’t over yet. Lots of legalese for those interested in the whole article.

    Apple enters the fray against Lodsys, files motion to intervene

    While I don’t have any confirmation from anyone that Apple has agreed to cover those defendants’ costs and potential risks, it’s hard to imagine how else this could work.

    That said, there are still some important questions that Apple’s filing doesn’t answer…