Lodsys Responds to Apple, Files Lawsuits Against App Developers, Promises $1000 If Wrong
Patent holding firm Lodsys today published a series of blog posts revealing that the company has filed suit against some App Store developers, accelerating its efforts to extract licensing fees from developers for using in app purchases and upgrade links in their App Store applications. Lodsys had given developers 21 days to negotiate a license before filing suit, but the firm appears to have initiated lawsuits early in order to thwart Apple's efforts to back the developers.
Q: Why did Lodsys sue some App Developers on May 31, 2011?
Lodsys chose to move its litigation timing to an earlier date than originally planned, in response to Apple's threat, in order to preserve its legal options.
Lodsys has also disputed Apple's assertion that developers are "undeniably licensed" for the technology by virtue of an existing licensing arrangement between Apple and Lodsys.
[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.
Simultaneous to the blog posting, Lodsys says that is has sent a detailed legal response to Apple, which it has invited the company to publish in its entirety.
Finally, Lodsys has announced that it will reimburse any developer improperly targeted by an infringement notice $1,000 for their troubles, suggesting that the firm is confident in its standing and convinced that it will prevail.
While it is true that Apple and Lodsys have an obvious dispute about the scope of Apple's license to the Lodsys Patents, we are willing to put our money where our mouth is and pay you something if we are wrong. Therefore, Lodsys offers to pay $1,000 to each entity to whom we have sent an infringement notice for infringement on the iOS platform, or that we send a notice to in the future, if it turns out that the scope of Apple's existing license rights apply to fully license you with respect to our claim relating to your App on Apple iOS.
Update: FOSS Patents reveals that Lodsys filed suit against 7 developers.: Combay, Iconfactory, Illusion Labs, Machael G. Karr, Quickoffice, Richard Shinderman, and Wulven Games.