Nine days after Lodsys sued seven iOS app developers, Apple has filed a motion to intervene. Apple has stated in its motion that the app developers are individuals or small entities with far fewer resources than Apple and […] lack the technical information, ability, and incentive to adequately protect Apple’s rights under its license agreement.
The current standoff started when Lodsys, a patent management company, began demanding royalty from app developers who had implemented in-app purchasing. This came as a shock to many since the in-app purchase mechanism was provided by Apple, and Apple had already licensed the appropriate technologies from Lodsys. Apple soon issued an open letter, in which it vehemently opposed the claims made by Lodsys.
Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patent[s] and the Apple App Makers are protected by that license. There is no basis for Lodsys’ infringement allegations against Apple’s App Makers. Apple intends to share this letter and the information set out herein with its App Makers and is fully prepared to defend Apple’s license rights.
However, this wasn’t enough to deter Lodsys. It went ahead and filed lawsuits against seven developers with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
If Lodsys wins, not only will it be bad news for developers, but it will also be bad news for Apple in general. For now, Apple’s sole defense is that its current agreement with Lodsys covers all iOS app developers. It’s not known if Apple will be bearing the legal expenditures of the defendant or not. However, the good thing is that Apple at least seems to be willing to make a stand, and defend its developers. In contrast, Google is yet to speak up in favour of the Android developer who received a letter from Lodsys with similar demands.