Apple enters legal fray against Lodsys, files motion to intervene

“Nine days after Lodsys sued seven little app developers in the Eastern District of Texas, Apple filed a motion to intervene in the proceedings,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “If the court grants Apple’s motion to participate as an intervenor, Apple has already submitted its answer to the complaint, and its counterclaim. Lodsys can oppose Apple’s motion to intervene. That may happen, but I believe Apple is fairly likely to be admitted as an intervenor.”

Mueller writes, “The app developers whom Lodsys sued appear to be bound by a non-disclosure agreement (which makes sense), so they can’t speak out on their current relationship with Apple. While I don’t have any confirmation from anyone that Apple has agreed to cover those defendants’ costs and potential risks, it’s hard to imagine how else this could work. In its motion, Apple states explicitly that the sued app developers are ‘are individuals or small entities with far fewer resources than Apple and […] lack the technical information, ability, and incentive to adequately protect Apple’s rights under its license agreement.'”

“Apple’s proposed defense against Lodsys’s claims is exclusively related to the assertion that the alleged infringements are covered by an existing license agreement in Apple’s favor,” Mueller writes. “It’s another question whether Apple’s exhaustion theory will ultimately win the day. I’ll be happy about whatever helps to protect app developers, but at this stage I honestly can’t discount the possibility that Lodsys’s infringement theory may trump the exhaustion argument. But even if so, the good news is that Apple takes action.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
New lawsuit may render Lodsys in-app purchase patents invalid – June 8, 2011
Lodsys sues 7 app developers in Eastern Texas; Mac and Android devs also targeted – May 31, 2011
Lodsys also threatens Android developers with legal action over in-app purchases – May 27, 2011
Full text: Apple Legal’s letter to Lodsys – May 23, 2011
Apple: iOS developers already licensed for Lodsys patents – May 23, 2011
EFF calls on to Apple defend iOS developers in Lodsys legal threats – May 21, 2011
Following Lodsys legal threats, Apple reportedly stops approving iOS apps with In-App Purchases – May 18, 2011
Lodsys defends legal threats: Apple is licensed, iOS developers are not – May 16, 2011
Lodsys threatens Apple App Store devs with lawsuit over In-App Purchases – May 13, 2011


  1. Well that’s a fairly short reign of terror from Lodsys.

    And now comes the payback from a company which has the capability to eviscerate “them”. Hope they packed their big boy pants.

  2. This is a classic example of what is terribly wrong with the US Patent system. Society is getting too large, too complicated for any idea to be considered “unique”. There are too many cross currents in today’s enterprise to easily determine who threw the first stone in the invention pond. Also, technology is changing at speeds never anticipated by the original patent legislation. It’s time for a complete overhaul here.

    IMO, patent rights ought to be non-transferable, i.e. you invent it, you own it for the life of the patent. Further, after a reasonable time period (say 25 years), the patent is retired, allowing others free use. This would encourage more innovation without the onerous legal implications now used to contain/control/obstruct innovation by patent trolls.

    Also, the legal process of defending an original patent ought to be streamlined to prevent those with deep pockets from financially bullying original patent holders lacking the wherewithal to adequately defend themselves in the court system.

    1. I don’t understand your 25 year term on patents–that’s already longer than the 20 years of protection they have now.

      Patents on software should be stopped immediately and existing ones revoked. Yes that will hurt Apple to some degree, but when EVERYONE is being harmed by them, and the only winners are the lawyers, then that system is obviously broken, is no longer serving the interests of invention and innovation, and that system must be torn down.

      To any “free market” capitalists trying to defend them, remember patents (and copyrights, and trademarks) are GOVERNMENT-GRANTED and enforced systems, originally intended to add to and improve the public good (i.e. scary socialist ideas! Kill it now!)

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