Apple to App Developers: We Got Your Back

Video Game Law Blog

June 02, 2011

Apple stands up for App Developers in the face of patent threats.

Over the past couple of weeks, Lodsys LLC has apparently sent notice letters to numerous small App developers, demanding that they cease using technology based on Lodsys patents, and threatening them with legal action. Lodsys is a Texas-based company that holds a number of patents regarding interactive advertising, app purchasing, online help, and subscription renewal.

Apple, which is licensed to use Lodsys patented technology, has now responded directly to Lodsys with a cease and desist letter of their own. Apple Senior Vice President Bruce Sewell wrote to CEO Mark Small, demanding that Lodsys withdraw its threats from the App developers and refrain from making any future threats. The gist of Apple's position is that since the App developers are using Lodsys' patented technology with Apple's APIs, then the App developers are also protected by Apple's license.

In the letter, Apple throws down the gauntlet and says that it is prepared to defend Apple's rights. But it may take more than that to discourage Lodsys from taking the App developers to court – Lodsys is no stranger to patent-infringement litigation. In February, it launched a patent-infringement suit against several major corporations, including Canon, HP, Lexmark, and Samsung.

For more info, go to BNet