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Apple asks Lodsys to rescind legal threats against iOS developers - Page 2

post #41 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

But what does this all mean *legally*?



Apple would, I expect, have little legal standing in a dispute between lodsys and a developer. They may have an action under their own contract/licence with lodsys, but as far as I know one can't, as a third party, just butt into a legal stouch between third parties.

And that's where you're wrong. In fact, you totally can.

A judge would probably allow permissive intervention under rule 24 (b)(1)(B). I don't know any of the specifics, so I wouldn't hazard to know, but Apple might even have an argument to intervene as of right under 24 (a)(2).
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post #42 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But wouldnt that Supreme Court ruling hold up for the developers (i.e.: customers) who purchased the SDK access from Apple who licensed the patents from Lodsys?

you would appear to be correct, like if an engineering firm has a patent licensed to Craftsman on an electric screwdriver, they cant sue me for selling furniture that I built with their patented tool once I purchase it from the Craftsman reseller...can they?
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post #43 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

How ironic that Lodsys quotes Edison, one of the slimiest, ethically bankrupt minds in American History.

Is that irony or self-realization?
post #44 of 63
Anyone want to wager out how soon before EFF claims credit in making Apple defend their developers?

Something along the lines of "we are happy that Apple has followed our advice to back their developers..."
post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Anyone want to wager out how soon before EFF claims credit in making Apple defend their developers?

Something along the lines of "we are happy that Apple has followed our advice to back their developers..."

It is inevitable. They probably composed the advice and the self-congratulations at the same time.
post #46 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddykane View Post

Just another example how Apple's so-called "walled garden" actually protects developers, specifically from patent license claims.

Any android developer who is not actually selling his apps through a licensed vendor may be susceptible to this liability that Lodsys is claiming and may get a letter in the mail soon.

To use a term that is well overused here, that's FUD. First, do you have any actual knowledge that Google licensed Lodysys patents? If Google didn't, then Google really plays no part in this. And if Google did license the tech, what were the terms of the agreement? When it comes to Apple, Lodsys' argument seems to be that they licensed to Apple to provide in-app purchases (presumably for Apple's own apps) and not to be provided freely to every iOS developer. The Google license could be much cleared about being a license for general Android developers and not specific to Google developed software.

And really, do you think Google wouldn't swoop in to protect Android developers regardless of what app store they sell on? If it would have been bad for Apple not to do so, it would likewise be bad for Google not to do so as well.
post #47 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddykane View Post

Just another example how Apple's so-called "walled garden" actually protects developers, specifically from patent license claims.

Any android developer who is not actually selling his apps through a licensed vendor may be susceptible to this liability that Lodsys is claiming and may get a letter in the mail soon.

I agree. Good observation.
post #48 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Anyone want to wager out how soon before EFF claims credit in making Apple defend their developers?

Something along the lines of "we are happy that Apple has followed our advice to back their developers..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

It is inevitable. They probably composed the advice and the self-congratulations at the same time.

They've been watching Greenpeace at work.
post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Hopefully (although not likely) we'll see an end to in-app purchases.
Most of the time it just seems to be used in "free" games so you can buy some sort of token/weapon/clue/item to make the game even slightly playable. It all seems very underhanded and I'd rather just buy a game than be duped by this bait and switch.

Hopefully Apple will also add a 3rd column to the app store especially for in-app purchase games so people like myself can ignore them.

Amen!

Although in-app purchases can be useful, more often than not, they are used just as you said.

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post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

To use a term that is well overused here, that's FUD. First, do you have any actual knowledge that Google licensed Lodysys patents? If Google didn't, then Google really plays no part in this. And if Google did license the tech, what were the terms of the agreement? When it comes to Apple, Lodsys' argument seems to be that they licensed to Apple to provide in-app purchases (presumably for Apple's own apps) and not to be provided freely to every iOS developer. The Google license could be much cleared about being a license for general Android developers and not specific to Google developed software.

And really, do you think Google wouldn't swoop in to protect Android developers regardless of what app store they sell on? If it would have been bad for Apple not to do so, it would likewise be bad for Google not to do so as well.

Even if Google doesnt license from Lodsys his comment is still sound. With Google lack of management over Android Market it certainly seems more likely they will defend their developers. This question was raised well before this Lodsys issue came about. If Oracle goes after every Android developers do you think Google will back them the way Apple has done today with iOS developers?


Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Amen!

Although in-app purchases can be useful, more often than not, they are used just as you said.

They scamy apps get the press but there are plenty of legitimate uses for in-app purchases. Periodicals come to mind. Ive bought several chapters of books from Inking using in-app purchases. I certainly dont want a different app for each month or chapter of ringed material I wish to buy.

Plus, didnt Apple crack down on games that targeted children and changed the way iOS handles such purchases?
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post #51 of 63
Meanwhile, back at the Lodsys break room.

"Dude, I told you that license was not written correctly. We are so freakin' hosed!"
(turns around and punches his partner in the shoulder)
"Aw, man. How was I supposed to know? Besides, this little scam of getting some cash from all the app developers was not supposed to be a big deal!
You said they would pay up, no problem..."
post #52 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

you would appear to be correct, like if an engineering firm has a patent licensed to Craftsman on an electric screwdriver, they cant sue me for selling furniture that I built with their patented tool once I purchase it from the Craftsman reseller...can they?

Exactly, and I would be interested in seeing how some of these other patent lawsuits turn out. Like, for example, Nokia suing Apple over cell phone patents. As in this case, I should think that Apple will assert patent exhaustion as a defense to Nokia's claim. Meaning that if Apple purchases chips from manufacturers in Asia that those manufacturers have already licensed from Nokia, Nokia shouldn't be able to claim that Apple also needs to pay up.
post #53 of 63
Thanks Apple. The issue stands clear in my mind. Developers dont have an in-app purchase system. Apple does.

Apple has licensed patents for their system.

This is why we pay to join Apple's developer system. This is one of the reasons why Apple takes 30%.

Apple was good to not snap back at us in the beginning, talk down to us about why we have some limitations. I agree some of the review stuff has been crap, but from the start Apple was careful that developers would not get attacked like this.

Go Apple!
post #54 of 63
These patent trolls should change their name to LOLsys.

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post #55 of 63
This

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post #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

I think the whole point was to wring a few dollars more from Apple. And I think they will get it. Apple will just pay them off - it makes good business sense. (Not terribly morally satisfying I suppose, but that's business.)

No it doesn't make good business sense. All that does is open the doors for every patent troll to come crawling for payoffs. What makes sense is if Lodsys pushes this, Apple files to have the patent invalidated. Lodsys does not want to go there and it scares off other patent trolls.
post #57 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddykane View Post

Just another example how Apple's so-called "walled garden" actually protects developers, specifically from patent license claims.

Any android developer who is not actually selling his apps through a licensed vendor may be susceptible to this liability that Lodsys is claiming and may get a letter in the mail soon.

That last point is an interesting one, and something I've wondered about. We're just recently seeing in- app purchasing appear in Android apps. Are they using Lodsys's patented software and methods to implement it? If so, will Lodsys send them letters as well? If they do, does Google license Lodsys's patents as Apple does? Will they come to the defense of their developers as Apple has? Google doesn't have a history of doing that. They won't insulate anyone from lawsuits if they implement Google's video, even though there's a threat it may be patent encumbered.

What about Microsoft, RIM, HP, and Nokia? They all have developers, and I'm pretty sure that some of them would like to have in-app purchasing, if they don't already.
post #58 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

To use a term that is well overused here, that's FUD. First, do you have any actual knowledge that Google licensed Lodysys patents? If Google didn't, then Google really plays no part in this. And if Google did license the tech, what were the terms of the agreement? When it comes to Apple, Lodsys' argument seems to be that they licensed to Apple to provide in-app purchases (presumably for Apple's own apps) and not to be provided freely to every iOS developer. The Google license could be much cleared about being a license for general Android developers and not specific to Google developed software.

And really, do you think Google wouldn't swoop in to protect Android developers regardless of what app store they sell on? If it would have been bad for Apple not to do so, it would likewise be bad for Google not to do so as well.

I don't think Google would "swoop in" to protect their developers. They have no history of doing that. There are questions of their present policy regarding WebM video. It's widely thought to be patent encumbered, and Google has been chastised for refusing to protect developers who utilize it. The same thing for their own android, which itself may be shown in court to be patent encumbered. Yet, despite calls for it, Google has refused to shield manufacturers, carriers and users.

I'm not so sure they would jump to the defense of Android developers here either.
post #59 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

But what does this all mean *legally*?

Those are both legal terms. Linkage basically means that the demands on the developers are linked to Apple's providing the software, and the means to use it (the SDK, and the App Store). As Apple has licensed software, or methodology from Lodsys for the purpose of enabling in-app purchasing, Apple is linked to the suits, if any against their developers.

As an interested party, from the above, and also from the fact that Apple's business would be damaged if developers have to raise their prices, go out of business, or drop in-app purchasing, they have standing.

Quote:
Apple would, I expect, have little legal standing in a dispute between lodsys and a developer. They may have an action under their own contract/licence with lodsys, but as far as I know one can't, as a third party, just butt into a legal stouch between third parties.

This isn't true. Any party that will be affected by a case can come in as an interested party. This is done all the time.

Quote:
We simply don't know what it is Apple agreed under its licence to lodsys. It would seem silly that Apple would licence a patent without the ability to offer its fruit to developers, but who really knows? Oversights do happen, and if Apple entered boilerplate agreements with other patent holders, they might start lining up.

You're right, we don't know anything other than what Apple has stated. The case, if any, would depend on whether the court decides that Apple is correct, or Lodsys. Being that Apple is so adamant about it, and that they took 10 days to reply, it would indicate that they're sure they're correct.

Quote:
As far as the Court case cited by Apple, I haven't read the case but the snippet suggests to me that it would apply to an object, and iPhone, an engine, etc. What's not so clear from the snippet is how it applies to what is essentially a mechanism.

Again, not defending anyone here, but there is little to go on.

A mechanism is a mechanical, or even an electronic device. What this is all about is not about a mechanism, but rather a software related methodology that utilizes Apple's own software and API's to accomplish a software related task. It could be patents that are called "process". Those can be either for "real" procedures, such as chemical processes, or mechanical processes, used in manufacturing, etc.

Whatever they are, Apple has made it clear that they require Apple's own software to work. That raises an interesting question. How dependent on Apple's software and API's is it?
post #60 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't think Google would "swoop in" to protect their developers. They have no history of doing that. There are questions of their present policy regarding WebM video. It's widely thought to be patent encumbered, and Google has been chastised for refusing to protect developers who utilize it. . .

Mel, Google is making efforts at addressing any potential issues with WebM. Numerous articles since back in mid-April talk of Google's Cross-Platform initiative for patent pooling.

http://www.webmonkey.com/2011/04/goo...nt-protection/

Note that Apple (part of the MPEG-LA group) is withholding their support, but there may be less than obvious reasons for it. Ars Technica, a site you've endorsed with previous links, is reporting that the DOJ is initiating an investigation into what's motivating the MPEG-LA saber-rattling, noting that Apple and Microsoft could be behind the posturing as two (highly influential) members of the group.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...by-mpeg-la.ars

As is increasingly common with actions that affect Apple and Google, the issue is seldom black and white. This is just another indication of back-room deals that may be going on.
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post #61 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Mel, Google is making efforts at addressing any potential issues with WebM. Numerous articles since back in mid-April talk of Google's Cross-Platform initiative for patent pooling.

http://www.webmonkey.com/2011/04/goo...nt-protection/

Note that Apple (part of the MPEG-LA group) is withholding their support, but there may be less than obvious reasons for it. Ars Technica, a site you've endorsed with previous links, is reporting that the DOJ is initiating an investigation into what's motivating the MPEG-LA saber-rattling, noting that Apple and Microsoft could be behind the posturing as two (highly influential) members of the group.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...by-mpeg-la.ars

As is increasingly common with actions that affect Apple and Google, the issue is seldom black and white. This is just another indication of back-room deals that may be going on.

Yes, I'm aware of the articles and issues. But, so far, there doesn't seem to be any companies that have signed up. Maybe that's changed since I've last looked, but attempting to do this doesn't protect those using the software now. It also isn't any guarantee that it will be protective in the future. All that it can do, assuming that it gets companies to sign up, is to protect against those patents. It can do nothing to protect against those patents that haven't been assigned to the group. It's been stated a number of times by patent attorneys who write about these issues, that Google needs to indemnify it's developers, and users, but they won't.

As far as the investigation goes, it means little right now. An investigation doesn't mean a finding. The companies in mpeg-la have the right to assemble a patent trust. This is a very common thing to do. If they believe that their patents are being violated, they have the right to require a license. Google, on the other hand, does not have the right to violate patents.

If the group is interested in signing up Google, and others using its WebM codec's, then there is nothing that the government can do about it. If it can be proven, and this is a very difficult thing to do, that the purpose is to strangle WebM with overburdensome licensing fees, then that would be different. But, even there, it's a complex issue. The argument that Apple, and other companies, use to not pay licensing fees to others, is that in the negotiations, those holding the patents are demanding too much.

But the government doesn't get involved, and it shouldn't.
post #62 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yes, I'm aware of the articles and issues. But, so far, there doesn't seem to be any companies that have signed up. Maybe that's changed since I've last looked. . .

There were 16 members from day one including:

AMD
Cisco Systems
HiSilicon Technologies (for itself and its parent, Huawei)
Logitech
Mozilla Corporation
Opera Software
STMicroelectronics (for itself and its 50/50 joint venture, ST-Ericsson)
Texas Instruments
Xiph.org Foundation

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As far as the investigation goes, it means little right now. An investigation doesn't mean a finding.

I agree with you Mel. It's all too common for some posters to equate an investigation with guilt. Or confuse some bloggers comments with indisputable facts.

As I mentioned earlier, there's usually more gray (or perhaps pots and kettles?) than black and white when one company/organization accuses another of wrongdoing IMHO.
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post #63 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

There were 16 members from day one including:

AMD
Cisco Systems
HiSilicon Technologies (for itself and its parent, Huawei)
Logitech
Mozilla Corporation
Opera Software
STMicroelectronics (for itself and its 50/50 joint venture, ST-Ericsson)
Texas Instruments
Xiph.org Foundation



I agree with you Mel. It's all too common for some posters to equate an investigation with guilt. Or confuse some bloggers comments with indisputable facts.

As I mentioned earlier, there's usually more gray (or perhaps pots and kettles?) than black and white when one company/organization accuses another of wrongdoing IMHO.

I don't see how some of those companies can contribute anything. A number have no patents in this area. Are these companies exhibiting solidarity, because they are using WebM, rather than contributing IP?
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