Lodsys Agrees to Dismiss Patent Case Against Small Developer for a Charitable Donation

Back in May 2011, patent holding firm Lodsys began threatening lawsuits against a number of small iOS developers, alleging infringement of a Lodsys-held patent through the use of Apple's in-app purchase and upgrade functionalities. The case was an interesting one because small developers were being held liable for their use of Apple's supported tools for iOS apps, with Apple agreeing to back the developers and claiming that Apple's existing license with Lodsys automatically extended to cover third-party developers using those tools.

Lodsys continued to pressure developers, both large and small, to take out their own licenses for Lodsys' patents, with many developers choosing to purchase licenses rather than fight in court. Lodsys now claims over 200 licensees for its patents.

lodsys_logo_2012
While news about Lodsys had been relatively quiet through late 2012 and early 2013, the firm once again made a splash in April of this year when it filed suit against Disney, Gameloft, and several other developers and companies. Aside from a brief June announcement from Lodsys noting that Angry Birds developer Rovio has taken a license for Lodsys' patents, things had once again turned quiet through the middle of this year.

But as noted in a blog post today from developer Todd Moore, whose firm TMSOFT is responsible for several dozen iOS and Mac apps, Lodsys has curiously agreed to dismiss its case against him in exchange for an end to the dispute and a mutual charitable donation from the two sides (via @DotComCTO).

The dismissal is with prejudice which means they can never sue my company again for infringing its patents. I did not have to pay any money to Lodsys or sign a license agreement. I also did not sign a confidentially agreement so I’m free to talk about this matter.

So what did I have to agree to?

1. Never to sue Lodsys over its patents (I otherwise would have the right to ask a court to rule their patents invalid if I wanted)

2. Dismiss all motions with prejudice (we had filed a motion to dismiss that also sought to recover my attorneys fees, costs and expenses)

3. Make a donation to a mutually agreeable charity

Moore notes that the only reason he was able to fight Lodsys in court was that he had pro bono assistance from the Public Patent Foundation, with attorneys there estimating that their time spent on the case could normally have been billed at roughly $190,000 even before it headed to trial. He also highlights the ease with which Lodsys is able to file patent lawsuits against small developers and his continuing efforts at supporting patent reform.

It remains unclear whether Lodsys' move to dismiss the case against Moore and TMSOFT is part of a strategy shift for the firm or if it simply realized that it was not worth pursuing a protracted fight against a small developer receiving free legal representation. We have yet to hear of any similar settlements, although many developers have understandably been reluctant to share details on their own experiences with Lodsys.

Top Rated Comments

newdeal Avatar
97 months ago
they knew if they went to court and lost then they would lose their other 200 licencees because the precedent would be set that their patents were invalid. They only prey on companies that they know won't fight back because then they can keep doing it over and over. As soon as a judge rules against them for one case the party is over
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
97 months ago
Ah, yes, the [s]Lodsys Charity for Starving Patent Lawyers[/s] Red Cross.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ValSalva Avatar
97 months ago
It's still extortion :eek:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SgtPepper12 Avatar
97 months ago
That logo looks awful.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
uniq Avatar
97 months ago
I'm sure I'm missing something but to me it reads like TMSOFT received pro bono funding to fight Lodsys in court. And instead of seeing it through and putting an end to it for all the developers being threatened and bullied by Lodsys they took the easy way out. Only really benefiting themselves. Leaving all the other dev's once again as fair game?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
emt1 Avatar
97 months ago
Where's Dexter when you need him?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...