Apple has finally responded to Lodsys’ patent troll attempts to extort indie iOS devs for using iOS’s In-App Purchasing Mechanism: developers don’t owe Lodsys anything for offering in-app purchases, and if Lodsys cares to press the issue, Apple will be more than happy to step in on behalf of their devs… and wipe the floor with Lodsys.
Apparently, a number of indie iOS developers who have turned to Apple’s legal department for help after being sent threatening letters by Lodsys for offering in-app purchases have received documentation from Apple, including a letter to Lodsys CEO Mark Small that begins:
There is no basis for Lodsys’ infringement allegations against Apple’s App Makers. Apple intends to share this letter and the information set out herein with its App Makers and is fully prepared to defend Apple’s license rights.
In addition, Apple says that their existing license with Lodsys already covers developers:
Thus the technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers. These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store. Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claims by Lodsys.
Apple goes on to say that it believes that Lodsys’ letters are “based on a fundamental misapprehension regarding Apple’s licese and the way Apple’s products work.”
It’s a misapprehension that Apple will be more than happy to pound forcibly through Lodsys’ thick skull, if need be. Apple closes its letter by ordering Lodsys to “withdraw your outstanding threats to the App Makers and cease and desist from any further threats to Apple’s customers and partners.”
This is great news for indie iOS Devs: Apple isn’t just willing to go to bat for you, they’re twitching to mop the floor with bozos like Lodsys.
Here’s the question, though. Apple’s made it clear that they will stand up for their App Store devs… but will Lodsys be cowed, or will they press forward with their threatened lawsuits? We should know soon enough.