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Apple 'Actively Investigating' Lodsys Patent Claims as More Developers Hit

According to The Guardian, Apple is "actively investigating" the recent controversy that has seen patent holding firm Lodsys targeting small iOS developers with notices of patent infringement and giving them 21 days to purchase licenses for technology related to in app purchase and upgrade links within apps. The company is also said to be preparing a response to be issued later this week.
Apple's legal department is understood to be "actively investigating" claims by Lodsys, a patent holding company based in Texas, to have a claim against iPhone and iPad developers who use in-app purchase systems.

So far Lodsys has served papers on about a dozen iOS developers who it says are infringing its patent 10/732,102, which it bought in 2004 from the inventor, who filed it in the 1990s, covering user interaction over a network.

Apple is not expected to respond to the claims, which have been passed to it by affected developers, until later this week.
At least one of the affected developers had reached out to Apple's legal department immediately after receiving the notice, seeking advice on how to respond to the claims and whether Apple had any position on the situation. It has been unclear, however, whether Apple would take up an active role on the issue, given Lodsys' claims that Apple, along with Google and Microsoft, already has a license for the technology for its own apps.

Word of Apple's investigation into the matter comes as Lodsys continues to target developers with notices, as Talos Tsui of The Iconfactory sent out a Tweet a short time ago sharing that his company has just been "Lodsysed". It is unclear, however, whether this is a fresh batch of notices or if stragglers from the original round of mailings are still coming through.

Top Rated Comments

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77 months ago
O lord, somebody woke the kraken.

Release the kraken!
Rating: 13 Votes
77 months ago

However, Google is a open company...

Your naivete amuses me.
Rating: 10 Votes
77 months ago
Patent should be voided if the holder can't prove any product active in a market ... Like trademarks ...
That could reduce patent trolls and still keep active inventors protected.
Rating: 4 Votes
77 months ago
The main reason Apple is standing up is because if a developer settles with Lodsys and pays the royalties, they're actually violating their developer agreement with Apple (yes, it's true!). As a developer, you currently can't win.

Developers are legally between a rock (Lodsys) and a hard place (Apple), even though the infringing IP is provided by Apple, not by developers (developers use Apple's API to infringe the patent). I'm sure if some developers settled, Apple would give a bye, but right now this is an ugly situation that is creating a decent amount of fear between iOS developers.

As an iOS developer, it's good to see Apple letting everyone know they're looking out for their developer community.
Rating: 4 Votes
77 months ago
Here is the single most important fact of this case that everyone should be aware of:

Apple already pays for a license of this patent from these a-holes.

Lodsys is trying to double dip, by going after the individual developer using in-app purchase. Big Mistake.

Opinion: Apple shouldn't pay this extortionist outfit one penny in the first place. Who has a right to patent buying things? No one.
Rating: 4 Votes
77 months ago

Theses schools I do give credit for. I should have clarified my post. The U.S. higher education system needs to have all schools modeled after like what you mentioned above where it focuses on your degree choice, not throwing in a bunch of garbage classes like many other schools do.

You are, of course, entitled not to apply to schools with curriculums you don't like or curriculums not specifically tailored to what you perceive as your needs. Feel free to apply to Brown, which won't ask you to take any class you don't want to take. Feel free to apply to Hampshire, where you can design your own personalized program of study completely from scratch. That way, you won't ever have to be exposed to any ideas with which you don't want to grapple.

Some of us, however, value a broad curriculum that exposes us to a variety of disciplines and intellectual pursuits we might not otherwise have encountered, enriches our perspectives and allows to make cross-disciplinary connections, and hopefully leaves us less likely to commit flagrant grammatical errors in our internet posts.
Rating: 4 Votes
77 months ago
This is good to read. Nice to hear that Apple are looking to support developers too.
Rating: 3 Votes
77 months ago

You need to read the patent *claims*, not just the patent specification.

I read the entire thing. Some of the patents terms are even violated by the sheer fact that Apple tracks the users information during an upgrade. They are still reaching pretty broad with the concept of an upgrade button. They could take down half the internet if they wanted. It's really no less obvious than say trying to patent a cancel button. I could see them going after ratings systems, or systems that offer special upgrades based on user feedback and habits, but not a generic purchase full version button. That's pure troll feces.
Rating: 3 Votes
77 months ago

I hope your kidding. If you are, ignore the rest of my post. If not here it is:

The developer would end up making almost no money after paying Lodsys's ridiculous fee that they in no way, shape, or form deserve.

To put it in perspective say you baked wedding cakes for a living and you bought all your cake mix from a certain supplier. Well one day someone sues you because they claim to have patented an IDEA for an ingredient in the cake mix you use that you bought from someone else and they want 57% of your profits now. Would you pay up?

It's 0.575%, not 57%. :D

Licensing Terms

- Lodsys' proposed licensing terms equal 0.575% of U.S. revenue for in-app upgrades, with developers also being responsible for past usage.

In the case of an Application doing an in-application upgrade (and only this scenario), Lodsys is seeking 0.575% of US revenue over for the period of the notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage. So on an application that sells US$1m worth of sales in a year, the licensee would have an economic exposure of $5,750 per year.

Rating: 2 Votes
77 months ago

This is a patent. Not copyright. And as apple already licensed the patent, they will be hard pressed to seek a declaratory judgment that the patent is invalid (possible now due to a recent legal decision, but not easy). Best bet is they pay lodsys to go away, and pay them extra not to settle with google or ms (to the extent antitrust laws let them get away with that added wrinkle).

You're assuming that Lodsys' claims that Apple patented this random patent number are actually true, accurate, or correct. Apple has never said that. (Nor Google or anyone else for that matter.) This crap company buys up patents to sue companies/people. That's the business model.

It wouldn't surprise me if they know better than to go after Apple, hit the little guy, and hoped since it didn't directly involve Apple, they'd get away with it. Something about this whole thing stinks. Why are Google developers not getting hit with this as well?

I'm glad to see Apple looking into this (which is different than having the backs of their developers) and will hold opinion back until I see Apple's response to these charlatans. I still say I'm going to patent the idea of suing for patents...
Rating: 2 Votes

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