Lodsys Publishes May 2011 Legal Response to Apple's Challenge

Over the past two years, a number of app developers have been contacted by patent holding firm Lodsys, demanding licenses for and in some cases filing suit over patents related to in-app purchasing and other functionalities. Earlier this month, Lodsys gained renewed attention when it began a new round of lawsuits targeting a number of developers large and small, including Disney and Gameloft.

At the time of Lodsys' initial effort to extract licenses from App Store developers, Apple's General Counsel Bruce Sewell sent a letter to Lodsys backing App Store developers and claiming that Apple was "undisputedly licensed" to Lodsys' patents through an arrangement that also protected app developers. Apple later requested and was given limited permission to intervene in at least some legal proceedings on behalf of targeted developers.

lodsys_logo_2012
Lodsys had responded to Apple's claims of protection for developers with both public blog posts and a private legal response to Apple in May 2011, and Lodsys had encouraged Apple to publish that legal response, but Apple apparently declined to do so.

In response to requests from developers seeking more information from Lodsys on the basis for its claims, Lodsys today released a redacted version of its initial legal response to Apple, dated May 31, 2011. Redactions include the removal of specific discussion of Apple's license terms with Lodsys.

The letter outlines a number of arguments as to why developers are not covered by Apple's license with Lodsys, pointing to Apple's own developer program agreements that strictly limit its relationships with developers to agency appointments rather than any broader business agreements.

First, you assert that, "[u]nder its license, Apple is entitled to offer these licensed products and services to its customers and business partners, who, in turn, have the right to use them." May 23 Letter at 1 (emphasis added). But, based on our review of [sic] publically available information, we understand that Apple expressly disclaims that App Makers are "business partners."

The response from Lodsys then proceeds to walk through six other arguments against Apple's claim that app developers are protected through Apple's license, including discussions of sublicensing, Apple's express disclaimer of any ownership interest in third-party apps, Apple's insistence that developers are solely responsible for liabilities related to their apps, and pass-through licensing issues.

Nearly two years later, the initial dispute remains unresolved, and Lodsys continues to contact developers in order to obtain licenses to its technologies with over 200 entities large and small now licensed for Lodsys' patents. Many smaller developers have found it simpler to agree to licenses representing small percentages of their revenue rather than face the prospect of lawsuits from Lodsys, but others remain in the crosshairs as Lodsys continues to stake its claims.

Top Rated Comments

nepalisherpa Avatar
126 months ago
What a "load" of ****! But, then again, I don't mind seeing all these "freemium" apps gone! :D
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bmunge Avatar
126 months ago
You are wrong. They exist purely to hold patents and make a business out of licensing them.

Only when miscreants steal their property are they forced to sue anybody.

HTH.
They are manipulating a flaw in our judicial system for the sake of profit. They have no viable claim of ownership of the IAP system. It's a ridiculous scheme that seeks to exploit app developers.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zin Avatar
126 months ago
Lodsys is a patent holding company. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these exist purely to hold patents and make a business out of suing people who they claim to be in violation of their patents, whilst not necessarily being related in any way to the actual inventors or original filers of them, nor do they actually use the patents themselves to create products or deliver services?

It's things like this that clog up the justice system. There must be a backlog of patent cases just like this. The whole system needs dumping and redoing.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
126 months ago
I have to correct you. Patent holding companies do not "make a business out of suing people". They exist to advance innovation by rewarding the inventors. They collect patents and license them to tech companies. Just like, say, music record companies or publishing companies work with musicians and writers. Then of course, some companies use inventor ideas but do not want to pay. That's where lawsuits come into picture. Apple does the same to protect their intellectual property (but on much bigger scale than any "patent troll").

I'm all for giving credit where credit is due. But the issue is that this is a ridiculously stupid patent. It is essentially a patent on clicking a button to purchase a digital commodity.

The real issue is that software patents like these get issued in the first place. They should require an actual functioning implementation and not just an idea.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Gasu E. Avatar
126 months ago
You are wrong. They exist purely to hold patents and make a business out of licensing them.

Only when miscreants steal their property are they forced to sue anybody.

HTH.

No, Lodsys is a shell company which shares an address (down to the suite number) with a number of other shell companies in a small office in Marshall, Texas. They have no one actively marketing these patents. It's just a lawsuit factory.

I would suggest you try reading one of their patents (you can find them listed in their entry in wikipedia), then justify your use of the word "miscreant".
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zin Avatar
126 months ago
I have to correct you. Patent holding companies do not "make a business out of suing people". They exist to advance innovation by rewarding the inventors...
But their website states that the inventor of the patents does not receive any revenue from licenses. The only entities receiving revenue are the new owners and Lodsys, which are not innovating using the patents as the inventor would have, but rather making profit purely from holding them. I don't understand how that is advancing innovation.

It seems to me as though Lodsys are merely acting as middlemen in the name of profit.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Emergency SOS via Satellite iPhone YT

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska

Thursday December 1, 2022 4:37 pm PST by
With the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple rolled out a Emergency SOS via Satellite, which is designed to allow iPhone 14 owners to contact emergency services using satellite connectivity when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. The feature was put to the test in Alaska today, when a man became stranded in a rural area. In the early hours of the morning on December 1, Alaska State Troopers ...
iPhone Measure Height

Newer iPhones Allow You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly — Here's How

Saturday December 3, 2022 10:23 am PST by
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, and iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models feature a LiDAR Scanner next to the rear camera that can be used to measure a person's height instantly in Apple's preinstalled Measure app. To measure a person's height, simply open the Measure app, point your iPhone at the person you want to measure, and make sure they are visible on the screen from...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
iOS 16

When Will iOS 16.2 Be Released?

Friday December 2, 2022 2:13 pm PST by
Apple in late October began testing iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 updates, providing betas to both developers and public beta testers. As of now, we've had four total betas, with the fourth beta having been released earlier this week. iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 are expected before the end of the year, and we thought we'd try to narrow down the launch timeline. With only four betas released since...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

Major RAM Upgrade Coming to Next-Generation MacBook Pro

Friday December 2, 2022 2:03 am PST by
The next-generation MacBook Pro models could feature faster RAM, according to a recent report from a reliable source. MacRumors Forums member "Amethyst," who accurately revealed details about the Mac Studio and Studio Display before those products were announced, recently provided information about Apple's upcoming 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new machines are expected to feature...
iPad 10 Battery Pull Tabs

iPad 10 Teardown Reveals Why Device Isn't Compatible With Apple Pencil 2

Thursday December 1, 2022 10:48 am PST by
Do-it-yourself repair website iFixit today shared a video teardown of Apple's new 10th-generation iPad, providing a closer look inside the tablet and revealing why the device lacks support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. The teardown reveals the internal layout of the iPad, including its two-cell 7,606 mAh battery, logic board with the A14 Bionic chip, and more. As suspected, the...
android apple fix rcs

Google Again Criticizes Apple for Not Adopting RCS for Messages App: 'Their Texting is Stuck in the 1990s'

Friday December 2, 2022 10:54 am PST by
Google is continuing on with its attempt to convince Apple to adopt the RCS messaging standard, publishing a new "it's time for RCS" blog post. Promoted heavily by Google, RCS or Rich Communication Services is a messaging standard that is designed to replace the current SMS messaging standard. It provides support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, and bigger file sizes, ...
ios 16 2 beta notifiation center

PSA: Older Notifications No Longer Hidden in Notification Center in iOS 16.2 Beta 4

Friday December 2, 2022 5:23 am PST by
In a small but significant change to the way the Notification Center works in the latest iOS 16.2 beta, older notifications are now shown by default without having to swipe up. In the current release as well as earlier versions of iOS 16, users do not automatically see older notifications in the Notification Center like they did in iOS 15, and instead must manually swipe up from the middle...
lastpass

LastPass Hacked for Second Time This Year

Friday December 2, 2022 4:04 am PST by
Password management app LastPass says it is investigating a security incident after an "unauthorized party" compromised its systems on Wednesday and gained access to some customer information. The information was stored in a third-party cloud service shared by LastPass and parent company GoTo, said LastPass CEO Karim Toubba in a blog post. Toubba said the hackers used information stolen from ...
Apple Card Savings

Apple Card Customer Agreement Updated for 'Upcoming' Savings Account Feature

Friday December 2, 2022 11:43 am PST by
Goldman Sachs this week updated its Apple Card customer agreement to reflect the credit card's upcoming Daily Cash savings account feature, which was expected to launch with iOS 16.1 but appears to have been delayed. "To enable new ways to use Daily Cash like the upcoming Savings account feature, we are updating the Daily Cash Program section of your Apple Card Customer Agreement," reads an...