Over the past few weeks, Lodsys, a patent holding firm (read: patent troll), has been targeting iOS app developers for infringing on their intellectual property. Many developers have reached out to Apple for support, and the boys at Cupertino have begun to fight back. In a letter sent to Lodsys, Apple made it clear that their patents licensed from Lodsys extend to all their developers.
First, Apple is licensed to all four of the patents in the Lodsys portfolio. As Lodsys itself advertises on its website, “Apple is licensed for its nameplate products and services.” See http://www.lodsys.com/blog.html (emphasis in original). Under 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.
Apple has requested that Lodsys withdraw the notices, but if they refuse, Apple will likely do everything in their power to further protect their developers. Apple’s letter seems pretty cut-and-dry, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Lodsys gives up after they realize that they can’t make a quick buck off of indie devs with limited legal resources. Good job, Apple!
Therefore, 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.
[MacWorld] (Full text)