Apple asks Lodsys to rescind legal threats against iOS developers

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 62
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    Even if Apple doesn't fully believe in it's position as stated in their letter, they are letting Mr. Small know that Apple itself has cause to get involved and this won't be easy pickings for Lodsys.



    Lodsys does not want to tangle with Apple and their 100 billion dollar war chest for the next 10 years.



    BAM!
  • Reply 22 of 62
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    Don't be surprised if Apple doesn't alter the way in which in-app purchases are made, and then tells Lodsys to eff off, see us in court. Don't piss off Jobs.
  • Reply 23 of 62
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Agreed.



    People are forgetting perhaps that Apple is not actually a party to any of the lawsuits, and the issue of who wins a lawsuit like this usually comes down to who has the money to argue it all the way. Justice goes only to those who can afford it in cases like this. Lodsys seems like a fairly small-fry, but the developers are even smaller.



    If Lodsys simply plows forward with the cases anyway, Apple can't actually do anything about it because they aren't defendants. AFAICS their options are only to give money to the developers to defend themselves, or have themselves added to each case somehow.



    If it was Lodsys versus Apple they would have to give up as Apple has far more money than they do, but until that happens, they may just keep plugging away. The individual developers don't have the money to fight this in court.



    That's not true. There is "linkage". And in addition, Apple is an "interested party".



    Apple's claim is simple. They have licensed the software for use by their developers selling apps in their (Apple's) store, which uses the software, not the apps themselves. By threatening lawsuits against apple's developers, it can damage Apples business, and affect their customers.



    Apple has plenty of standing here. And if Apple decides to sue them for possibly a breach of contract, they can do so.
  • Reply 24 of 62
    _hawkeye__hawkeye_ Posts: 139member
    Excerpt from Apple's letter:



    Quote:

    Through its threatened infringement claims against users of Apple?s licensed technology, Lodsys is invoking patent law to control the post-sale use of these licensed products and methods. Because Lodsys?s threats are based on the purchase or use of Apple products and services licensed under the Agreement, and because those Apple products and services, under the reading articulated in your letters, entirely or substantially embody each of Lodsys?s patents, Lodsys?s threatened claims are barred by the doctrines of patent exhaustion and first sale. As the Supreme Court has made clear, ?[t]he authorized sale of an article that substantially embodies a patent exhausts the patent holder?s rights and prevents the patent holder from invoking patent law to control postsale use of the article.? Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Elecs., Inc., 553 U.S. 617 (2008).



    Therefore, Apple requests that Lodsys immediately withdraw all notice letters sent to Apple App Makers and cease its false assertions that the App Makers? use of licensed Apple products and services in any way constitute infringement of any Lodsys patent.



  • Reply 25 of 62
    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.
  • Reply 26 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I’d think Lodsys would have throughly considered Apple’s response and needed protection of developers in this matter so I’ll be surprised if they simply back down. Surely they thought at least one move ahead in this legal chess game.



    ...not all lawyers are created equal. It remains to be played out whether the Lodsys legal team has the IP/patent chops to take on the retained services of the likes of Bruce Sewell, Elliot Peters, William Lee, Robert Krupka, and Matthew Powers, who are arguably the heavy-hitters for the Apple Legal team, having logged successful cases in IP/patent suits across the tech industry.



    On the other hand, Lodsys may be doing this to generate settlements from the devs or to try and drive re-negotiation of Apple's license, having done a facepalm for licensing it directly to Apple, instead of the thousands of devs in the ecosystem. Either way, Apple technically needs their license to support in App purchases unless they have a non-infringing solution they can wave at Lodsys to say "yo, dudes yer harshin' our mellows here. Do ya wanna make some money or do ya wanna be dicks?"
  • Reply 27 of 62
    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.



    do use the free apps with in-app purchasing required to make the game playable? I mean, right?? The market is robust enough to support all kinds of models for monetizing your game, you don't have to play the one you don't like...
  • Reply 28 of 62
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post


    Do ya wanna make some money or do ya wanna be dicks?



    Lawyers excel at doing both.
  • Reply 29 of 62
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,264member
    How ironic that Lodsys quotes Edison, one of the slimiest, ethically bankrupt minds in American History.
  • Reply 30 of 62
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Agreed.



    People are forgetting perhaps that Apple is not actually a party to any of the lawsuits, and the issue of who wins a lawsuit like this usually comes down to who has the money to argue it all the way. Justice goes only to those who can afford it in cases like this. Lodsys seems like a fairly small-fry, but the developers are even smaller.



    If Lodsys simply plows forward with the cases anyway, Apple can't actually do anything about it because they aren't defendants. AFAICS their options are only to give money to the developers to defend themselves, or have themselves added to each case somehow.



    If it was Lodsys versus Apple they would have to give up as Apple has far more money than they do, but until that happens, they may just keep plugging away. The individual developers don't have the money to fight this in court.



    Apple can do several things, most importantly, they can insist on participating as an interested party. In short as you mentioned, including themselves in each case legally.



    If Apple were a little less involved, they could also file an "amicus" brief with the courts in support of the developers. But because they are directly involved, they lose that ability due to their "interest" as both licensee of Lonesys (yes - it was deliberate) and as operator of the platform under which the developers supply their product.



    And finally Apple could with its war chest do a hostile takeover of Lodsys and simply buy and gut them. Upside - they get a bunch of IP and a troublesome flea off their backs. Downside - they set a precedent where any little IP troll company can step up and try to leverage the same deal by threatening the devs in the iOS stable.
  • Reply 31 of 62
    esummersesummers Posts: 909member
    It was probably cheaper to license these patents... but I wish Apple would challenge more of these. Maybe they thought they would never win in Marshall, TX though. Companies (if you call what is most likely one person a company) like lodsys are just leeching on poor government regulation in the form of the US Patent system. Lets hope for patent system reform. No software patents is better then abused software patents.
  • Reply 32 of 62
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    That's not true. There is "linkage". And in addition, Apple is an "interested party".



    Apple's claim is simple. They have licensed the software for use by their developers selling apps in their (Apple's) store, which uses the software, not the apps themselves. By threatening lawsuits against apple's developers, it can damage Apples business, and affect their customers.



    Apple has plenty of standing here. And if Apple decides to sue them for possibly a breach of contract, they can do so.



    Exactly, Apple can always countersue Lodsys.
  • Reply 33 of 62
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 34 of 62
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


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



    I was wondering if anyone else would notice that.
  • Reply 35 of 62
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    That's not true. There is "linkage". And in addition, Apple is an "interested party".



    But what does this all mean *legally*?



    Quote:

    Apple's claim is simple. They have licensed the software for use by their developers selling apps in their (Apple's) store, which uses the software, not the apps themselves. By threatening lawsuits against apple's developers, it can damage Apples business, and affect their customers.



    Apple has plenty of standing here. And if Apple decides to sue them for possibly a breach of contract, they can do so.



    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.



    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.



    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.
  • Reply 36 of 62
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Don't make me come over there.
  • Reply 37 of 62
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Agreed.



    People are forgetting perhaps that Apple is not actually a party to any of the lawsuits, and the issue of who wins a lawsuit like this usually comes down to who has the money to argue it all the way. Justice goes only to those who can afford it in cases like this. Lodsys seems like a fairly small-fry, but the developers are even smaller.



    If Lodsys simply plows forward with the cases anyway, Apple can't actually do anything about it because they aren't defendants. AFAICS their options are only to give money to the developers to defend themselves, or have themselves added to each case somehow.



    If it was Lodsys versus Apple they would have to give up as Apple has far more money than they do, but until that happens, they may just keep plugging away. The individual developers don't have the money to fight this in court.



    (Non-lawyer talking): It seems to me that Apple most assuredly would have recourse. What they'd do is sue Lodsys for breach of contract. They wouldn't be party to those small suits. They'd bring their own. They've said very clearly that they're licensed to do exactly what they're doing and the devs are part of that. If Lodsys sues, Apple can sue back for breach.



    Herein lies the threat:



    "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."



    Lodsys' CEO and its counsel may not understand what just got said, but this doctor sure did. And I have no doubt that Apple's general counsel is speaking with tremendous precision. Lodsys, be warned.
  • Reply 38 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    The license would be useless if it didn't cover Apple's developers.
  • Reply 39 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Currently there are no lawsuits at all, so nobody is a party to anything yet. There are ways to bring Apple into the game. First, if Lodsys does sue a third party developer, Apple could respond by filing a separate against Lodsys for allegedly violating what Apple thinks its license covers. Apple could then ask for the suits to be merged into one. Second, the third party developer could bring Apple into a lawsuit by cross suing Apple claiming Apple has caused the developer harm or that Apple should indemnify it. Apple could then cross sue Lodsys.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    Agreed.



    People are forgetting perhaps that Apple is not actually a party to any of the lawsuits, and the issue of who wins a lawsuit like this usually comes down to who has the money to argue it all the way. Justice goes only to those who can afford it in cases like this. Lodsys seems like a fairly small-fry, but the developers are even smaller.



    If Lodsys simply plows forward with the cases anyway, Apple can't actually do anything about it because they aren't defendants. AFAICS their options are only to give money to the developers to defend themselves, or have themselves added to each case somehow.



    If it was Lodsys versus Apple they would have to give up as Apple has far more money than they do, but until that happens, they may just keep plugging away. The individual developers don't have the money to fight this in court.



  • Reply 40 of 62
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    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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