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Apple Backs Developers Against Lodsys Patent Threats, Says Devs 'Undisputedly Licensed' [Updated x2]


Developer Craig Hockenberry responds to Apple's notice

As reported by The Loop, Apple has finally responded regarding developers being targeted by patent holding firm Lodsys with notices of infringement and demands for licensing. According to the report, Apple's General Counsel Bruce Sewell has sent a letter to Lodsys claiming that developers are "undisputedly licensed" for the patent in question.
"Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license," wrote Bruce Sewell, Apple Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
While it is unclear exactly how Lodsys will respond to Apple's demands, it seems clear that Apple is taking steps to protect developers in its App Store ecosystem and will likely take the lead in any potential lawsuits filed over the issue.

Update: The Loop has updated its report with additional quotes from Apple's response to Lodsys:
"Thus 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. These licensed products and services enable Apple's App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple's own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple's App Store. 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."
Update 2: Macworld has now posted the full text of the letter from Apple to Lodsys, which concludes:
Apple requests that Lodsys immediately withdraw all notice letters sent to Apple App Makers and cease its false assertions that the App Makers’ use of licensed Apple products and services in any way constitute infringement of any Lodsys patent.

Top Rated Comments

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47 months ago
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:
Rating: 18 Votes
47 months ago
Translation: "Back the ******* off!"
Rating: 13 Votes
47 months ago
This is what I figured and hoped would happen. Apple seems to go into conference mode when a sticky legal situation arises, but once they have all their facts lined up, they stand up for people.

So, a patent troll meets its match. They wanted to pick on the small developer into paying them money, set a precedent, go after bigger devs, etc. Instead the giant walked over to the troll and said, "Where do you think you're going?"
Rating: 12 Votes
47 months ago
Your 30% "Apple Tax" in action!
Rating: 11 Votes
47 months ago
Go apple!
Rating: 8 Votes
47 months ago
I have a feeling this is not going to turn out so well for Lodsys
Rating: 7 Votes
47 months ago

This is good, but let's not act like it's altruism on Apple's part. This is Apple protecting Apple's interest in ensuring that app developers can use the App Store and thus make wads of money for Apple. That it protects developers is an artifact of the app store model.

In short, in this case Apple's interests and those of developers are aligned. In a case where they do not align, don't expect Apple to "stand up" for developers out of the goodness of their hearts.


Glass half empty much?

Apple has heart. Period. A lot of corporations do.
Rating: 5 Votes
47 months ago

Your 30% "Apple Tax" in action!


exactly...its like living in the Sopranos...

You pay Tony his Tax for protecting your shoppe.
Then, when other guys try to get money from you, you call big Tony, and he sends in Chris to break some knees. However, whatever you do, you have to make sure you pay Tony his Tax
Rating: 5 Votes
47 months ago
I wonder if Lodsys will run scared now. I mean I imagine Apple's legal team is about the size of a small city.
Rating: 5 Votes
47 months ago

Apple only gave money to Japan cause they had business interests there. What about the Australian floods or the New Zealand earthquakes or many other nameless natural disaster Apple did not help out with.

Apple is a business. And will always do what it takes to protect their own interests and make more money. It just happens that the developers interests and Apple's interests match up at this time. Next time the developers might not be so lucky.


First, although tragic none of those came close to the Japan incident as far as scale goes, and second how do you know they didn't donate? Many companies donate but don't advertise it because its seen as doing good only to attract attention. The stuff you read about Apple during the tsunami wasn't written by Apple, it was written by people witnessing it or living it.

Its a shame people like you fail to see any good that others do. There always has to be some hidden motivation behind everything doesn't there?
Rating: 5 Votes

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