Apple has requested a court briefing in addition to its motion for an intervention against Lodsys, a company that has been chasing after iOS and Android developers and accusing them of infringing on its patents. Here’s a quick back story: Lodsys argues that developers who use its in-app payment technology aren’t covered under Apple’s license. Instead, Lodsys believes that each developer needs its own license. Apple disagrees and has said that developers are covered under an umbrella license. Lodsys has argued that Apple simply has an “economic” interest in the lawsuit but the Cupertino-based company has fired back and said developers are “precisely the type of supplier-customer relationship courts have found sufficient to permit intervention.” Most recently Lodsys added Electronic Arts, Atari, Square Enix and Take-two Interactive to the lawsuit. More →
Lodsys, the company that has been accusing iOS and Android developers of illegally using its in-app purchasing technology, is now also targeting high-profile gaming firms such as Atari, Electronic Arts, Angry Birds lab Rovio, Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive. According to FOSS Patents, Lodsys had this to say about Rovio:
Defendant Rovio has infringed and continues to infringe, directly, indirectly, literally, under the doctrine of equivalents, contributorily, and/or through the inducement of other, one or more claims of the ’565 patent. Rovio makes, sells, uses, imports, and/or offers to sell infringing applications, including but not limited to Angry Birds for iPhone and Angry Birds for Android, which infringe at least claim 27 of ’565 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271.
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A few weeks back, a patent-holding company called Lodsys began contacting developers and asking them to cough up money for using their in-app purchasing technology without a license. Apple intervened briefly and said that its developers are covered under its own license, but now the company has taken the matter to court with an official movement to intervene. The motion officially states:
Apple Inc. hereby respectfully moves to intervene as a defendant and counterclaim plaintiff in the above-captioned action brought by plaintiff Lodsys, LLC against seven software application developers for allegedly infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 7,222,078 and 7,620,565. Apple seeks to intervene because it is expressly licensed to provide to the Developers products and services that embody the patents in suit, free from claims of infringement of those patents.
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ForeSee Results, an industry analyst firm, has filed a declaratory lawsuit against Lodsys in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. ForeSee Results has a few big customers — such as Best Buy, WE Energies, and Adidas — that have reportedly been threatened with legal action by Lodsys, and so the firm has decided to take the fight into its own hands. The results of a declaratory lawsuit should settle the dispute on whether or not the developers using Lodsys’ in-app purchasing technology are covered under Apple’s license or not. If they are covered by Apple’s license, as Apple has already argued, then the hope is Lodsys will stop pestering them to pay up. More →
A firm called Lodsys has been targeting Apple and Android developers that it believes are using its in-app purchase technology illegally. Despite Apple’s efforts to argue that its developers are covered under the same license, Lodsys doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon — it’s giving developers 21 days to cough up licensing fees before it files lawsuits. In a few recent blog posts, Lodsys explained its position on the matter:
[Apple's] letter was very surprising as Apple and Lodsys were in confidential discussions and there was clearly disagreement on the interpretation of the license terms of Apple’s agreement. Before, during and after these interactions, Lodsys has carefully considered this issue and consulted several legal experts to consider Apple’s claims. We stand firm and restate our previous position that it is the 3rd party Developers that are responsible for the infringement of Lodsys’ patents and they 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 is so confident that it has the upper hand in this legal battle that it’s offering developers $1,000 if courts rule that Apple’s license does, in fact, cover them. According to MacRumors, the developers currently being targeted include Combay, Iconfactory, Illusion Labs, Machael G. Karr, Quickoffice, Richard Shinderman, and Wulven Games. Google has yet to respond to Lodsys’ complaints against Android developers. More →
Earlier this week we reported that a firm named Lodsys had started to send out letters to Apple developers claiming that they were infringing on a Lodsys patent related to in-app purchases. Apple stepped in and claimed that, since it licenses Lodsys’ products and services, its developers were also entitled to use the technology. Now it appears that Lodsys is also going after Android developers for the same reason. “We recently implemented in-app purchases for our Android application and several weeks later we received a letter from Lodsys, claiming that we infringed on their patents,” one programmer said in a Google forum. It is unclear how many Android developers have been contacted, and Google’s Android team has yet to respond, but we hope the search giant backs its developers the same way that Apple did. More →
Earlier this month a company called Lodsys began sending letters to iOS app developers using Apple’s in-app billing system, asking each to license its technology separately. In a blog post on May 15th, Lodsys explained on its website that “the scope of [Apple's] current licenses does NOT enable [Apple] to provide ’pixie dust’ to bless another (third party) business applications.” On Monday Apple issued a response to Lodsys explaining that iOS developers are safe under its licensing program. “Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license,” Bruce Sewell, Apple’s senior vice president and general counsel, said. “The technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers.” It sounds like developers that have received the notification letters can breathe easy knowing that Apple appears to be offering some support. Hit the jump for more from Sewell’s letter to Lodsys. More →