Lodsys hits back in App Store patent row
Lodsys, the patent firm which has been threatening app developers with lawsuits over alleged patent violations, appears unconvinced by Apple's intervention last week: rather than back down, it has begun legal proceedings against seven developers.
In a series of recent blog posts, Lodsys admits bringing forward its planned litigation "in response to Apple's threats, in order to preserve its legal options."
While Lodsys declined to name the studios against whom it had commenced legal proceedings, Foss Patents identifies those affected – and it appears Lodsys is looking beyond iOS developers, with those selling software for Android and Mac also targeted.
Apple stepped in on behalf of its developers last week, its senior VP and general counsel Bruce Sewell writing to Lodsys claiming that developers are bound by Apple's licence to the patents in question, which cover online help, subscription renewal, in-app purchasing and interactive advertising. "Apple is undisputably licensed to these patents and the Apple app makers are protected by that licence," Sewell wrote. "There is no basis for Lodsys' infringement actions."
However, Lodsys disputes this, saying: "Unfortunately for developers, Apple's claim of infallibility has no discernible basis in law or fact. We stand firm and restate our previous position that it is the thirdparty developers that are responsible for securing the rights for their applications.
"Developers relying on Apple's letter do so to their own detriment and are strongly urged to review Apple's own developer agreements to determine the true extent of Apple's responsibilities to them."
Lodsys says it has sent a detailed account of its position to Apple, and gives its permission for Apple to make it public. The firm appears so confident of its prospects that it has even offered developers a wager of sorts, offering $1,000 to each of them should the courts rule in their favour.