Apple has been granted permission to step in against Lodsys, a holding company with alleged ties to Intellectual Ventuers, which is intent on suing iOS developers for patent infringement. Apple had originally applied to intervene nearly a year ago after Lodsys claimed the right to in-app purchasing, and consequently went after big-name devs like Square Enix, 2K, Atari, Rovio, and EA for royalties. Apple's stance has been that they've licensed the rights to the in-app purchasing mechanism to these parties, and that Lodsys should take up the fight with Apple directly.

This is a textbook case of patent trolling, and I imagine that while Lodsys might have had a shot squeezing money out of the smaller developers, and a slim chance of getting royalties from the bigger ones, they won't stand a chance against Apple. Lodsys went after Android developers too, and Google intends to intervene on that front in much the same way as Apple.

It's only unfortunate the courts took this long to decide, however, because those smaller developers have no doubt been hurt in the mean time.

Source: FOSS Patents; Image: Statue Forum