Responding to Lodsys' lawsuits against iOS developers for allegedly infringing a patent on in-app purchases, Apple has filed a motion to intervene on the legal proceedings.
In the motion, Apple argues that the app developers 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."
Intellectual property activist Florian Mueller, who posted the filed documents
, notes that Lodsys can oppose Apple's motion but is optimistic that the courts will grant the request, especially due to there being a precedent in comparable cases.
"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," comments Mueller, speculating on
Apple's intent with the motion.
Texas-based Lodsys began sending out legal threats to iOS developers last month, accusing them of violating US Patent #7222078 for their use of in-app upgrades in their software -- a patent it purchased from inventor Dan Abelow in 2004.
The company demanded the developers purchase licenses for the patents or face legal action, but Apple responded by demanding
Lodsys to cease and desist from threatening its partners, claiming that developers were not infringing on the patent.
"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," argued the iPhone/iPad maker.
The iOS developers being sued include Combay (Mega Poker Online
), Iconfactory (Twitterific) Illusion Labs (Labyrinth
), Michael G. Karr (69 Positions), Quickoffice (Quickoffice Connect), Richard Shinderman (Hearts and Daggers
), and Wulven Games (Shadow Era
This development follows shortly after online customer satisfaction survey firm ForeSee Results filed a request for declaratory judgment against Lodsys after the company sent infringement claim letters to ForeSee's clients.
ForeSee, whose customers include major firms like Adidas and Best Buy, is seeking a declaration that Lodsys patent claims are invalid, as well as a permanent restraining order to stop Lodsys from harassing its clients, according to a report