Patent troll Lodsys has been suing iOS indie developers for using Apple’s own in-app purchasing mechanism. Sleazily, the company has claimed that they had no choice but to go after the little guy because Apple refused to cough up an App-Store-wide patent license.
No surprises here: Lodsys’s actions have roused the Cupertino Colossus, and they might not like the response they get from disturbing the sleeping giant’s slumber.
According to the Guardian, Apple is now “actively investigating” Lodsys’ threats to sue small, indie iOS developers unless they license their patents.
While Apple has yet to take a public position in the matter, it’s pretty clear that they’re going to have to intercede on behalf of developers. Lodsys’ move threatens to destabilize Apple’s App Store business, specifically in regards to in-app purchases. Meanwhile, developers have their hands tied, as Apple’s own IOS Developer Program Agreement specifically prevents them from agreeing to Lodsys’ outrageous terms.
Meanwhile, Lodsys has become a meme-style verb amongst the iOS dev community. This morning, Twitterific devs The Iconfactory were hit with an extortion letter from Lodsys, asking for them to settle for a license fee within 21 days or go to court. The letter prompted Iconfactory dev Talos Tsui to tweet that his company had just been “Lodsysed.” I think we can turn that into a hashtag, don’t you?