Apple files motion to intervene on Lodsys patent lawsuits

Apple has filed a motion to intervene in Lodsys' lawsuits against 7 iOS developers. These developers are reportedly under NDA as well, so it's unknown if Apple is also stepping in with legal and financial support for the individuals, but they are clearly taken the suit back to Lodsys:

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 (which I'm pretty sure harks back to when Lodsys's patents belonged to Intellectual Ventures). That is consistent with Apple's recent letter to Lodsys. Apple does not raise any other affirmative defenses, such as claiming that the patents are invalid or that they don't read on the accused products. The sued app developers may still raise those defenses (and possibly even more). They will definitely do so if Apple provides them with the necessary funding, and others are already trying to have Lodsys's patents declared invalid (in other lawsuits). But for Apple's own proposed participation as an intervenor it makes sense to focus on the theory of exhaustion (meaning that Lodsys can't get paid twice for a licensed use of the patents in question). In connection with that particular defense theory, Apple has by far the strongest basis for asking to be admitted as an intervenor.

The court may or may not grant the motion, of course, and lots of questions remain about whether or not this strategy -- rather than something more encompassing like indemnification -- is better overall for developers now and in the future.

Also, one of the developers is on the line for an Android app as well, and it will be interesting to see what, if any, response Google has to the Lodsys suit as well.

For a complete overview, and lots more on the questions still surrounding the issue, hit the link below.

[FOSS Patents]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple files motion to intervene on Lodsys patent lawsuits


Good job Apple. Keep it up. But it behooves iOS developers to create patent defense organization of some kind anyway. With 2.5g given out to developers, patent trolls must be salivating at all that lettuce.

As I said a couple of weeks ago (5/31), "Sure hope the folks over at Lodsys have good hearing... Right about now they should hear that faint doppler- effect whistling from that 100-story building hurdling toward them from 100 miles up designed to leave a crater where they used to be..."
The 100-story building is here.....

Much as I hope Apple succeeds in this case, they were explicitly arguing against patent exhaustion when Sanho bought Apple Magsafe adaptors and repurposed them in their own products. ( ). You cannot have it both ways.