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Apple's motion to intervene in Lodsys patent dispute thrown out by judge

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
A Texas judge last week dismissed a motion that would have allowed Apple to intervene in patent-holding firm Lodsys' ongoing attacks against iOS app makers, hindering the Cupertino company's ability to protect developers that provide the backbone of its important iOS ecosystem.

Lodsys


After two years of fighting to render aid to iOS app developers under fire from Lodsys, Apple saw its motion to intervene shot down by East Texas Judge Rodney Gilstrap, who rendered the company's challenge moot in an order last Tuesday, reports ArsTechnica.

The publication notes that Judge Gilstrap's decision not only dismissed Apple's motion, but allowed Lodsys to settle all cases with defendants.

According to Apple, the so-called "patent troll" uses a litigation technique in which app makers are threatened with patent infringement claims, or in some cases sued, to force "quick and cheap" settlements. Lodsys then dismisses or stays any claims before Apple's own counterclaims are ripe for decision.

By asking for relatively small royalties, Lodsys has been successful in extracting money from developers that would rather pay the fees than fight a a possibly drawn-out and expensive court battle.

Since 2011, Lodsys has been systematically targeting iOS app developers with patent infringement assertions regarding in-app purchasing. Apple, which already licensed the patents-in-suit with their previous owner Intellectual Ventures, argues that the existing arrangement should extend to cover iOS app devs that use the company's in-app purchasing API.

While Apple's argument, much of which dealt with a broader scope of the patent troll's tactics, may have been valid for an active case, but the motion was technically applied to suits in which the parties had already settled. Lodsys consequently filed to dismiss Apple's claims as moot, a motion Judge Gilstrap agreed with last week. He elaborated that Apple's broader claims were not applicable to the instant action due to the vast scope of cases it considered.

The jurist proposed Apple take action against Lodsys itself, though the effectiveness of such a suit is questionable given that the patent-holding firm already stated it recognizes Apple's license and has no grievance with the company. Another option could be for Apple to intervene in an upcoming case, but Lodsys' "quickly and cheaply" tactic may thwart any such attempts until that very strategy comes under scrutiny.

post #2 of 37

The judges in East Texas are so completely inbred and in cahoots with the patent trolls, it's not even funny.

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post #3 of 37

Can we just declare war on eastern Texas? Technology issues should not be tried in that region as there is too much bias towards economic benefits to the plaintiffs filing there, Motel 6 is probably $186 per night, with special attorney discount.

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post #4 of 37
Why is it that this insanity has been widely reported for years and yet no one has yet done anything about it?
post #5 of 37
If I was a developer here in NZ could I tell Lodsys to go suck my big fat nether regions? We have just passed a law that software patents can't be given out. Considering I would be a developer in NZ, Lodsys wouldn't have a leg to stand on would they?

I suggest all developers move to New Zealand and tell Lodsys to go hang themselves.
post #6 of 37

Take a look at who is representing Lodsys....

 

Now take a look at who is on Eastern District Court...

 

Hmm, those names look awfully similar.  

 

I am sure there is no conflict of interest there anywhere.

post #7 of 37
More like - By asking for relatively small royalties, Lodsys has been successful in EXTORTING money from developers that would rather pay the fees than fight a possibly drawn-out and expensive court battle.
post #8 of 37
And if Apple hadn't successfully argued a patent on a wedge and a bouncing screen, I'd feel bad for them. Patent trolling is a double edged sword.
post #9 of 37

When I read the headline this came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcHWeAzoXd4 Can the Eastern Texas District be slapped a class action suit for mistrials resulting from conflict of interest and corruption?

post #10 of 37
Another judge and police captain in a small town next to east Texas finally got caught stopping motorist and coming up with false charges, they then would demand instant payment or the couples kids would be taken into protective custody since the parents were criminals and did not pay fine.

Final action did not penalize the police captain or judge but just made them stop. The level of actual justice in this country is being flushed down the drain for a quick buck and local power.

Its a sad state of affairs.
post #11 of 37
I wish Mikey would write more articles.
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post #12 of 37
If Apple wants to support the developers they should start funding legal defences of the developers. I good team of lawyers should defeat Lodsys, and then a common law precedence will be set. Apple should put it's money where it's heart and mouth is...
post #13 of 37
I wonder if Apple could file a lawsuit for breach of contract. And perhaps silently assist in a class action suit for harassment or some such by the developers over this extortion.

Just file it somewhere other than east texas
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryn Lowe View Post

If I was a developer here in NZ could I tell Lodsys to go suck my big fat nether regions? We have just passed a law that software patents can't be given out. Considering I would be a developer in NZ, Lodsys wouldn't have a leg to stand on would they?

I suggest all developers move to New Zealand and tell Lodsys to go hang themselves.

Is that true? So if you developed an app there in NZ, could I steal it and tell you to go suck my big fat nether regions? Does Samsung have an office there?
post #15 of 37
The big problem is not patent itself. Been fighting for years in Europe to stop ridiculous patent. I think some of the Apple patent are ridiculous (like the rubber band stuff) and one of the recent Apple patent filing step right on my toe ... Oh well, not much I could do about it. The problem is a bit like trading future for agriculture products; back then you are not allow to trade this thing unless you are farmer or in the related industry. Then the rule relax a few years ago. We seen food price going through the roof, thanks to all the banks stir fry the price sky high.

Same thing should apply to this shell company! If they are just empty holding then they shouldn't be allow to trade such thing. There is no economic benefit here apart from those who have. And they get more.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus View Post


Is that true? So if you developed an app there in NZ, could I steal it and tell you to go suck my big fat nether regions? Does Samsung have an office there?

 

No, that'll still be a breach of copyright, intellectual property and possibly trademark laws, so you will rightfully be sued.

 

What you could do is reverse engineer the application, and write your own version, or just produce an app which does something very similar, as long as you don't simply steal the other guy's code.

post #17 of 37
It seems that most of the posters here are missing the key line of the whole article - that being ".....But the motion was technically applied to suits in which the parties had already settled

In other words those cases are done and are not subject to a "Legal Mulligan" in which case the judge was 100% correct in throwing out Apple's motion.
post #18 of 37

Judge Rodney Gilstrap:

 

  SSHOLE

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post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldernorm View Post

Another judge and police captain in a small town next to east Texas finally got caught stopping motorist and coming up with false charges, they then would demand instant payment or the couples kids would be taken into protective custody since the parents were criminals and did not pay fine.

Final action did not penalize the police captain or judge but just made them stop. The level of actual justice in this country is being flushed down the drain for a quick buck and local power.

Its a sad state of affairs.

 

You are totally off the point, this is a US federal court, and the judge is appointed by the president, he is a native of Florida, and may even know something the average readers on this forum do not know about law, at least his doctorate in law may indicate this.

 

Blaming the current state of US patent law on local conditions in Eastern Texas is probably not very reasonable.

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

And if Apple hadn't successfully argued a patent on a wedge and a bouncing screen, I'd feel bad for them. Patent trolling is a double edged sword.

Woke up today, and decided like you'd like to display your cluelessness?
post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

It seems that most of the posters here are missing the key line of the whole article - that being ".....But the motion was technically applied to suits in which the parties had already settled

In other words those cases are done and are not subject to a "Legal Mulligan" in which case the judge was 100% correct in throwing out Apple's motion.

This is exactly right. Nothing to see here.
post #22 of 37
East Texas... where pumpkin is both a noun and a verb!
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Judge Rodney Gilstrap:

 
 SSHOLE

LL
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- Roger Sterling
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"See her this weekend. You hit it off, come Turkey Day, maybe you can stuff her."
- Roger Sterling
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post #24 of 37
Apple needs to find some small company that was just sued by these trolls and buy them quickly then they take on the ownership of the sued company and can fight these guys once and for all. I am all for protecting IP, but this is ridiculous.
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsiles View Post

Apple needs to find some small company that was just sued by these trolls and buy them quickly then they take on the ownership of the sued company and can fight these guys once and for all.

That wouldn't help a thing. Lodsys already said Apple has a license. It's the independant developers who don't.
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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The judges in East Texas are so completely inbred and in cahoots with the patent trolls, it's not even funny.

True but remember their great, great grandpappies roamed the earth with dinosaurs so they are special. 1oyvey.gif
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post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Woke up today, and decided like you'd like to display your cluelessness?

And didn't he do a grand job!
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post #28 of 37

One consequence of these articles being so poorly written about patent issues is that people are generally operating under a lot of misunderstandings of the situations and patents in general.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darryn Lowe View Post
I suggest all developers move to New Zealand and tell Lodsys to go hang themselves.

 

That strategy only works if you only sell your software in New Zealand.  IF it's on the US App Store, then US law applies.  The NZ laws only apply to NZ territory, the US laws, only to US territory.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post
And if Apple hadn't successfully argued a patent on a wedge and a bouncing screen, I'd feel bad for them. Patent trolling is a double edged sword.

 

Trivializing what is in actual patents is frankly dishonest.  It implies that nothing is ever invented, and that the iPhone is just another blackberry.  It's silly.  Most patents-- even the ones that haters like to bash-- involve significant innovations. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiepaul View Post
If Apple wants to support the developers they should start funding legal defences of the developers. I good team of lawyers should defeat Lodsys, and then a common law precedence will be set. Apple should put it's money where it's heart and mouth is...

 

This is a good idea, Apple should hire a firm to do nothing but represent the developers.  Lodsys sends the developer a letter, developer signs up with Apple's firm, Apple's firm sends reply, Lodsys drops the claim.  Would likely solve it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelchu View Post

 I think some of the Apple patent are ridiculous (like the rubber band stuff) and one of the recent Apple patent filing step right on my toe .... Then the rule relax a few years ago. We seen food price going through the roof, thanks to all the banks stir fry the price sky high.

Same thing should apply to this shell company! If they are just empty holding then they shouldn't be allow to trade such thing. There is no economic benefit here apart from those who have. And they get more.

 

You think it's ridiculous because you don't understand it.  Also, it's not derivatives trading that is driving up food prices, but inflation.  Europe is awash with inflation to try and cover the misdeeds of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, etc.   Governments love to point to markets where the prices are set, and blame the market, because it's a lot easier than blaming themselves!  Alas, most people are so ignorant of economics that they fall for it.   Lodsys is not a "Shell company", and if you want to take property rights away from people you don't like, how are you different from any group who has done this in the past: EG: Germans claiming that Jews should not be allowed to own property. 

 

I think you don't understand the nature of "economic benefit".... but let me tell you, inventing new technology does provide economic benefit.  Licensing that technology allows more companies to use it, which magnifies the benefit.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post
It seems that most of the posters here are missing the key line of the whole article - that being ".....But the motion was technically applied to suits in which the parties had already settled

 

Actually you're missing the key point:  The judge let Lodsys delay and drop claims or settle claims in order to keep Apple out of it, and then once they had settled them all, Apple was unable to intervene.   It's still a denial of Justice because it is legal maneuvering that lets Lodsys get away with not being answered for the fact that Apple has already licensed the technology and lodsys is trying to double-dip.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
That wouldn't help a thing. Lodsys already said Apple has a license. It's the independant developers who don't.

 

The independant developers don't need one, because none of us are building our own app stores with in-app purchase.  We're all using the Apple one which Lodsys admits Apple has a license for.  That's the essential point in this case.

post #29 of 37

Power corrupts? No, power only shows that corruption.  I could never be in a position with power for that reason.  Having said that, they do need a new judge.

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W. Pauli, winner of the Nobel prize in physics, said that all scientific methods fail when questions of origin are involved.


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http://www.answersingenesis.org...

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post #30 of 37
The solution is for Apple to fully indemnify 3rd party developers against all lawsuits against use of its SDK. That would mean that any lawsuit against a 3rd party developer by Lodsys is a lawsuit against Apple and no judge would be able to prevent Apple from defending itself. The indemnification should have been in the developer license agreement from day 1 and Apple has no excuse for it not being there now.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus View Post


Is that true? So if you developed an app there in NZ, could I steal it and tell you to go suck my big fat nether regions? Does Samsung have an office there?

 

There are laws in place to prevent copyright theft but the key is that Lodsys' could EVER get their patents approved simply because they are a software patent, they are obvious, and they are not actively utilising those patents.

 

NZ already has patent laws that you MUST have a prototype of your invention before you can get a patent. Lodsys has no such prototype and neither does it have code so they could never have gotten a patent in NZ anyway because they failed to meet the requirements.

 

In NZ you CANNOT get a patent for an idea unless you have that prototype.

post #32 of 37
Pr
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is exactly right. Nothing to see here.
Pretty much.
post #33 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessi View Post

Actually you're missing the key point:  The judge let Lodsys delay and drop claims or settle claims in order to keep Apple out of it, and then once they had settled them all, Apple was unable to intervene.   It's still a denial of Justice because it is legal maneuvering that lets Lodsys get away with not being answered for the fact that Apple has already licensed the technology and lodsys is trying to double-dip.

Ok explain then how they're trying to "double-dip" when APPLE and NOT the individual app developers have licenced the technology.
post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post


Ok explain then how they're trying to "double-dip" when APPLE and NOT the individual app developers have licenced the technology.

 

In simple terms, Developers are using Apple's development system and platform for in-app purchases. All parts of the transaction are handled by Apple and their servers. The developer has no part in the transaction, does not know specifically which customers bought an in-app purchase, never mind the app in the first place.  All of this is done by Apple on Apple's severs running Apples development platform.   Apple's has paid a license fee for the use of this patent for its development platform/appstore. Lodsys goes after developers knowing they have small pockets and would settle vs. developers having to fight Lodsys to prove that they are covered via Apple's license. This is why Apple stepped in to be heard on this matter, on be half of the developers in the 1st place.  

post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by imt1 View Post

In simple terms, Developers are using Apple's development system and platform for in-app purchases. All parts of the transaction are handled by Apple and their servers. The developer has no part in the transaction, does not know specifically which customers bought an in-app purchase, never mind the app in the first place.  All of this is done by Apple on Apple's severs running Apples development platform.   Apple's has paid a license fee for the use of this patent for its development platform/appstore. Lodsys goes after developers knowing they have small pockets and would settle vs. developers having to fight Lodsys to prove that they are covered via Apple's license. This is why Apple stepped in to be heard on this matter, on be half of the developers in the 1st place.  

There's some big dev's in there too, Martha Stewart and Kapersky being two of them taking it to trial. What surprised me most is some of the fairly well-heeled iOS developers that have agreed to pay Lodsys royalties including Symantec, Estee Lauder and Atari. Lodsys doesn't seem to be fazed by going after the bigger players too.
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post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


There's some big dev's in there too, Martha Stewart and Kapersky being two of them taking it to trial. What surprised me most is some of the fairly well-heeled iOS developers that have agreed to pay Lodsys royalties including Symantec, Estee Lauder and Atari. Lodsys doesn't seem to be fazed by going after the bigger players too.

 

Probably comes down to a cost/benefit issue and that its far cheaper to settle then to fight. I also don't know if any of those companies violate the patent in other ways outside of iOS. For example, Symantec and then the ability to unlock portions from within the software, like backupexec and adding File Open Copy, Workstation Backup, etc. 

 

Also we don't know the whole terms of the settlements. I'm sure those that settle will have to pay regardless of what further action Apple may take on its own against Lodsys. Would love Apple to sue in some way, if possible, but sure a victory would mean the developers who did pay out wouldn't get reimbursed.  

post #37 of 37
Finally a decent explanation of this event. Good job!
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