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Apple tells Lodsys that developers are licensed, asks them to withdraw threats [updated]

According to The Loop, Apple has sent a letter to patent holder Lodsys, asking them to stop threatening iOS developers with patent infringement letters.

“Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license,” wrote Bruce Sewell, Apple Senior Vice President and General Counsel.

Good for Apple. More as this develops.

UPDATE: Macworld has the full text of Apple's response letter. Here are some good bits. [Macworld]

Because I believe that your letters are based on a fundamental misapprehension regarding Apple’s license and the way Apple’s products work, I expect that the additional information set out below will be sufficient for you to withdraw your outstanding threats to the App Makers and cease and desist from any further threats to Apple’s customers and partners.

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.

UPDATE 2: FOSS Patents weighs in with Florian Mueller's analysis [FOSS Patents]

I don't mean to be negative here. I just want to make all app developers fully aware of the issues they may still face. Since Lodsys is already suing a group of large players, which is collectively even more powerful than Apple, it would be irresponsibly optimistic to assume that Apple's letter all by itself is going to make Lodsys give up. Unless Apple settles the deal with Lodsys (neither the terms of such a deal nor the mere fact might ever be announced -- Lodsys might simply never follow up on its original infringement assertions), there will be some next step in this process, and things could still get nasty. So let's be optimistic today, but let's also be cautious.

UPDATE 3: Nilay Patel offers his thoughts as well [This is my Next]

The big question now is whether Lodsys is willing to take Apple to court in order to challenge that license interpretation; Lodsys would be fairly foolish to have not considered exactly this situation when they formulated their business plan. We’ll see what happens, but for the moment things have taken a promising turn.

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Square app gets updated for iPhone and iPad

Square is a mobile payment system that was started by one of the co-founders of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. It has built a lot of momentum recently and a ton of small businesses have adopted it because of its flexibility, ease of use, and straight forward fee policy. I use it for my own business and actually just chose it as my pick of the week.

Square just received a rather significant update that allows business owners to showcase their products through a feature called "virtual shelves". While the update makes its way to both iPhone and iPad, you'll notice more differences in the iPad version. The iPhone version has a re-designed UI but virtual shelves is currently only available to iPad Square users. You can now add product variations and sort items into shelves. Hit the jump for a complete list of changes and more screens!

iTunes Link

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New and updated iPhone and iPad apps for Monday, May 23

Every day, TiPb gets flooded with announcements for new and updated iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps and games. So every day we pick just a few of the most interesting, the most notable, and simply the most awesome to share with you!

  • Catalogue by The Find: Browse through all your favorite store catalogs in one easy-to-use iPad app. Update includes new layouts and grids, catalogues with their real look and feel, and 40+ name brand catalogues. [Free - iTunes link]

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HP: TouchPad will be number one-er!

HP dominates the commodity PC market, selling more beige boxes and plastic laptops than anyone else on the planet, so what's to stop their upcoming webOS-based HP TouchPad tablet from overtaking Apple's number one selling iPad to become... um... better than number one? Nothing but wishing it to be so, according to Eric Cador, Senior VP of HP Personal Systems Group of the EMEA.

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Chronic Dev Team share some news on iPad 2 jailbreak and iOS 4.3.x support

The Chronic Dev Team has decided to come out and issue a small update on its ongoing work on the iPad 2 jailbreak and iOS 4.3.x update. After the recent news that posixninja had recently said that the iPad 2 jailbreak would be “coming in weeks”, the Chronic Dev Team plan on holding him to that.

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Sideways for iPad by Bjango now in App Store [Update: give away]

Bjango's new racing game for iPad, Sideways, is now available in the App Store. Harkening back to the top-view racers of classic arcades, it keeps the same great emphasis on gameplay but puts the pedal to the metal on gorgeous graphics, immersive sound, and multi-touch iPad controls.

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iPhone 5 to introduce curved-glass design?

Take this one with a 3.5-inch grain of salt, but Digitimes is reporting that Apple may introduce a curved-glass design in the next iPhone, which is expected to drop sometime this fall.

There has been a fair amount of buzz on the iPhone 5, and the latest being circulated around the supply chain in Taiwan is that Apple is going to adopt a curved cover glass for its next generation model

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Third worker dies from explosion at Foxconn plant

It looks like last week's explosion at a Foxconn facility in China has taken another life, bumping to total fatalities to 3. The facility was a "polishing plant" mainly used for production of the iPad 2.

A third worker has died from an explosion at a Foxconn plant in China that makes Apple products, the contract manufacturer said on Sunday. The company said it us still investigating the blast, but said initial findings suggest “that the accident was caused by an explosion of combustible dust in a duct.”

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Apple Store app updated [Update: US and Europe only]

Apple's Apple Store app has been updated to version 1.3 and brings with it some new features... even if it's still iPhone only.

  • Enhanced in-store mode lets you get help and support quickly when you're at an Apple Retail Store.
  • The ability to custom-configure a new Mac with the options you want.

Unfortunately, they didn't update the icon. Let's hope a universal version is on its way. More screenshots after the break, and if you customize yourself a new Mac with the Apple Store app, let us know how it works for you.

UPDATE: It's showing up in the UK app store now, so it look like it is rolling out internationally.

UDPATE 2: We reached out to Apple PR and they told us it's US and EU only for now, more precisely:

Yesterday we updated the US version and launched the app in Europe (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland).

So those of us in Canada

[Free - iTunes link]

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