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MacRumors
May 23, 2011, 01:56 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/23/apple-backs-developers-against-lodsys-patent-threats-says-devs-undisputedly-licensed/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/hockenberry_lodsys.jpg


Developer Craig Hockenberry (http://twitter.com/chockenberry/) responds to Apple's notice
As reported by The Loop (http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/05/23/apple-says-developers-are-licensed-for-lodsys-patents/), Apple has finally responded regarding developers beingtargeted (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/13/lodsys-threatens-to-sue-app-store-developers-over-purchase-links/) by patent holding firm Lodsys with notices of infringement and demands for licensing. According to the report, Apple's General Counsel Bruce Sewell has sent a letter to Lodsys claiming that developers are "undisputedly licensed" for the patent in question."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.While it is unclear exactly how Lodsys will respond to Apple's demands, it seems clear that Apple is taking steps to protect developers in its App Store ecosystem and will likely take the lead in any potential lawsuits filed over the issue.

Article Link: Apple Backs Developers Against Lodsys Patent Threats, Says Devs 'Undisputedly Licensed' (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/05/23/apple-backs-developers-against-lodsys-patent-threats-says-devs-undisputedly-licensed/)



jmarques
May 23, 2011, 01:59 PM
Go apple!

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2011, 01:59 PM
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

Consultant
May 23, 2011, 02:00 PM
That's great news. Maybe Apple should countersue.


Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

Someone has a dirty mind.

Vertigo50
May 23, 2011, 02:00 PM
Translation: "Back the ******* off!"

RafaelT
May 23, 2011, 02:02 PM
I have a feeling this is not going to turn out so well for Lodsys

adamran
May 23, 2011, 02:02 PM
That's great news. Maybe Apple should countersue.




Someone has a dirty mind.

They can't "countersue", Apple is not the one being sued here, its the devs.

JilzVT
May 23, 2011, 02:03 PM
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

Glad I wasn't the only one!

NebulaClash
May 23, 2011, 02:03 PM
This is what I figured and hoped would happen. Apple seems to go into conference mode when a sticky legal situation arises, but once they have all their facts lined up, they stand up for people.

So, a patent troll meets its match. They wanted to pick on the small developer into paying them money, set a precedent, go after bigger devs, etc. Instead the giant walked over to the troll and said, "Where do you think you're going?"

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2011, 02:06 PM
They can't "countersue", Apple is not the one being sued here, its the devs.

Well technically they can't countersue because no one at all has been sued yet.

However, Apple could potentially intervene in any suit. I have little to no knowledge of patent law but elsewhere there is a concept called a "declaratory action" where a party can sue another to get a judge's ruling on what a contract says. Potentially Apple could do something similar here to get a ruling that its license covers all app store devs.

Frobozz
May 23, 2011, 02:06 PM
Great news, indeed. I can't say I'm surprised, though. This was a necessary move for Apple to protect their investment.

Lodsys' patent claims are extremely transparent about this to anyone with a brain. They tried to double dip by scaring small developers into a bunch of small "licensing fees." They hoped that those fees were small enough that developers wouldn't / couldn't fight it in court.

In short, Lodsys were being bottom feeding patent trolls and just got called out.

MagnusVonMagnum
May 23, 2011, 02:06 PM
I'm glad Apple seems to be doing the right thing here. I still don't like Software Patents in general and think they should be sent to the Supreme Court as they have never been ruled either way to patentable or not. Although given a couple of the Supreme Court's recent rulings, I don't really trust them to do the right thing anymore. (One recent ruling killed the 4th Amendment for warrants to search your home in case people haven't noticed and the other gave Corporations unlimited funds to lobby Congress, which gives Republicans a rather large monetary advantage seeing most corporations are Pro-Republican).

ChazUK
May 23, 2011, 02:08 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Excellent news.

Lodsys, don't ****** on the little guy!

kas23
May 23, 2011, 02:08 PM
I really don't care about this new update - it's a foregone conclusion. But, more importantly, I'm still miffed on how hitting an update button to update a mobile app can be patentable. What is Apple even paying for such a stupid license?

Frobozz
May 23, 2011, 02:11 PM
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

Me, too. One letter missing and that was going to be pretty NSFW.

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2011, 02:12 PM
I really don't care about this new update - it's a foregone conclusion. But, more importantly, I'm still miffed on how hitting an update button to update a mobile app can be patentable. What is Apple even paying for such a stupid license?

This was a great article from last week talking about the issue: http://thisismynext.com/2011/05/17/lodsys-sends-ios-developers-cease-and-desist-letters-in-app-purchases-on/

Essentially, Apple has a blanket license for numerous patents through Intellectual Ventures, including the patent in question here. So who knows if Apple ever made a conscious decision to pay for this particular license.

Frobozz
May 23, 2011, 02:14 PM
I really don't care about this new update - it's a foregone conclusion. But, more importantly, I'm still miffed on how hitting an update button to update a mobile app can be patentable. What is Apple even paying for such a stupid license?

Mostly because the patent was originally made in the 1990's when, in the Patent Holder's defense, it was not a very obvious thing. Apparently the language of the patent was wrapped in very 1990's scenarios, and has been updated (amended) over time to encapsulate realities of current systems.

I agree software patents seem silly. But, under current law, this seems to be a fairly valid patent-- even if that sucks.

Trius
May 23, 2011, 02:14 PM
Software patents are fine, if you are using them to protect your work from being stolen....

What I don't think is ok, is a company like Lodsys, that patents tech that they are not even using, or plan to use, for the sole purpose of going after developers that actually want to implement the tech and create something with it..

Trakker
May 23, 2011, 02:14 PM
http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/hockenberry_lodsys.jpg

Im sorry but I misread the end of the first line for something else at first!!! :eek:

haydn!
May 23, 2011, 02:16 PM
I kinda expected their response to be this. The whole concept of the iOS developers program is authorised people using fully licensed and authorised API's to create software for Apple devices. Developers are effectively 'third party' employees doing freelance work for Apple and only get paid if their work sells.

hankolerd
May 23, 2011, 02:16 PM
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

I had the very same thought haha. Good for Apple to get there hands dirty so eagerly! :apple:

ten-oak-druid
May 23, 2011, 02:18 PM
This is what I posted the other day that I thought would happen. Apple paid for the license to use the technology so that developers could access the app store for upgrades in this manner. It was a double fee lodsys sought. If lodsys argues that the developers must pay then why would apple need to if they are not implementing it? I have a feeling Apple is going to pay more for the overall license than the individual developers will. The developers will simply not use the feature if they have to pay. So lodsys should feel lucky they have apple paying this fee.

nagromme
May 23, 2011, 02:19 PM
No big surprise that Lodsys seemingly has no real case; that seemed likely all along. Good to have that confirmed. BUT the real problem is that a small dev can’t pay to defend themselves even against a baseless lawsuit. Apple makes it sound like the little guy could win the fight... except the little couldn’t pay to fight at all.

So the next step, hopefully, would be Apple suing Lodsys if they don’t back down. And/or funding individual battles against Lodsys. (But I bet Lodsys backs down rather than waste further money on their own lawyers.)

I’m glad to see a solid response, to curb this mass-trolling of defenseless small developers before it snowballs.

Kyle4
May 23, 2011, 02:20 PM
It's great that Apple is sticking up for their developers, if they didn't, it wouldn't look good. I'm happy they're defending the people that are creative and making the App store what it is.

RalfTheDog
May 23, 2011, 02:21 PM
This would not protect IOS developers that also develop for other platforms.

Kaibelf
May 23, 2011, 02:22 PM
Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

LOL you're not alone. At first I was like "WOW, that's one appreciative dev!" :eek:

Thunderhawks
May 23, 2011, 02:24 PM
It's great that Apple is sticking up for their developers, if they didn't, it wouldn't look good. I'm happy they're defending the people that are creative and making the App store what it is.

IMO this isn't over yet, since it's about money.

Since Lodsys seems to be Pr$%cks to begin with they will continue this , then
settle with Apple for more money.

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2011, 02:24 PM
This would not protect IOS developers that also develop for other platforms.

Microsoft and Google also have a blanket license, so presumably either of them could raise a similar argument for their developers (though its been my understanding that Lodsys is currently only going after iOS developers and not other platforms).

What might be interesting is whether HP or RIM have such a license...

mrzeigler
May 23, 2011, 02:24 PM
Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

My reaction: "Your huge" WHAT???!!!

chrono1081
May 23, 2011, 02:24 PM
I want to see Lodsys's response. They are a piece of **** company as far as I'm concerned. Their beef should have always been with Apple not the little guys using Apples products.

Aduntu
May 23, 2011, 02:25 PM
It's nice to see Apple stepping up to the plate here. Although it's relatively minor compared to other legal disputes, it still promotes a sense of camaraderie between Apple and independent developers. Great PR here.

BC2009
May 23, 2011, 02:25 PM
It seems Apple has Lodsys by the nuts in a couple of ways:

1) The claim has to do with the party that is enabling and receiving the feedback. Since Apple is that party and the are licensed they are free-and-clear, and the "App Makers" are not infringing.

2) They are using the Supreme Court precedence on the post-sales pursuit of royalties to show that what Lodsys is doing is not permitted under US Law (basically you cannot sue the guy who used the product or API that already licenses the patent).

Now since Apple is not a party to this lawsuit, their only option to defend the App developers is some sort of countersuit saying "you violated the law regarding the post-sales thing" and sue them for lost revenue, etc.... Also, Apple can back the developers by providing legal defense for them.

It will be interesting to see how much backbone Lodsys has now trying to bully the little guys when the big guy on the block comes tapping on their shoulder.

lloyddean
May 23, 2011, 02:26 PM
Your 30% "Apple Tax" in action!

JonB3Z
May 23, 2011, 02:26 PM
This is good, but let's not act like it's altruism on Apple's part. This is Apple protecting Apple's interest in ensuring that app developers can use the App Store and thus make wads of money for Apple. That it protects developers is an artifact of the app store model.

In short, in this case Apple's interests and those of developers are aligned. In a case where they do not align, don't expect Apple to "stand up" for developers out of the goodness of their hearts.

ghostface147
May 23, 2011, 02:27 PM
Alright Lodsys, let's see what your response is. What can your legal dream team hit back with?

RalfTheDog
May 23, 2011, 02:28 PM
Loadsys is the new Psystar. I think that, if this goes to court, Loadsys will find they are a load of something else.

Eorlas
May 23, 2011, 02:30 PM
Apple just 1v1'd lodsys and won.

chrono1081
May 23, 2011, 02:33 PM
This is good, but let's not act like it's altruism on Apple's part. This is Apple protecting Apple's interest in ensuring that app developers can use the App Store and thus make wads of money for Apple. That it protects developers is an artifact of the app store model.

In short, in this case Apple's interests and those of developers are aligned. In a case where they do not align, don't expect Apple to "stand up" for developers out of the goodness of their hearts.

Because heaven forbid someone thinks Apple is a nice company:rolleyes:

http://www.intomobile.com/2011/03/15/apple-stores-tokyo-go-above-and-beyond-during-2011-earthquake/

42streetsdown
May 23, 2011, 02:33 PM
WOOOO Go apple!!!! standing up for the little guy :)

Andronicus
May 23, 2011, 02:35 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Release the hounds.

Photics
May 23, 2011, 02:36 PM
Your 30% "Apple Tax" in action!

That's no tax. Apple earns their 30%.

This is just one of the many fine examples of Apple's work! :cool:

Tiger8
May 23, 2011, 02:37 PM
In short, in this case Apple's interests and those of developers are aligned. In a case where they do not align, don't expect Apple to "stand up" for developers out of the goodness of their hearts.
Yes, but isn't that the case everywhere? I mean, most App developers, big or small, develop apps to make money, not for the goodness of their hearts either...

FriarNurgle
May 23, 2011, 02:38 PM
It's crazy that crap like this can be patented in the first place.

Chip NoVaMac
May 23, 2011, 02:38 PM
Great news, indeed. I can't say I'm surprised, though. This was a necessary move for Apple to protect their investment.

Lodsys' patent claims are extremely transparent about this to anyone with a brain. They tried to double dip by scaring small developers into a bunch of small "licensing fees." They hoped that those fees were small enough that developers wouldn't / couldn't fight it in court.

In short, Lodsys were being bottom feeding patent trolls and just got called out.

Lodsys does seem to be trying to stretch their profits IMO

They were hoping maybe that the small dev would roll over and just pay the fee....

Where is the news of their approaching Droid devs?

Consultant
May 23, 2011, 02:40 PM
They can't "countersue", Apple is not the one being sued here, its the devs.

Apple mentions of "cease and desist." That's usually the first step to a law suit.

coolfactor
May 23, 2011, 02:40 PM
Software patents are fine, if you are using them to protect your work from being stolen....

What I don't think is ok, is a company like Lodsys, that patents tech that they are not even using, or plan to use, for the sole purpose of going after developers that actually want to implement the tech and create something with it..

Bravo. My thoughts exactly. I'm a developer and I license my work when necessary. I won't give it away for free. But I also created it and use it every day, in everything that I do.

kirky29
May 23, 2011, 02:43 PM
I'm pleased Apple is supporting their devs.
With Apple's more closed system, I see Apple as the 'big daddy' protecting it's Children ;)
:apple:

louis Fashion
May 23, 2011, 02:43 PM
Lodsys + Sucksys

ComputersaysNo
May 23, 2011, 02:43 PM
Lodsys got Appled.

coolfactor
May 23, 2011, 02:43 PM
This is good, but let's not act like it's altruism on Apple's part. This is Apple protecting Apple's interest in ensuring that app developers can use the App Store and thus make wads of money for Apple. That it protects developers is an artifact of the app store model.

In short, in this case Apple's interests and those of developers are aligned. In a case where they do not align, don't expect Apple to "stand up" for developers out of the goodness of their hearts.

Glass half empty much?

Apple has heart. Period. A lot of corporations do.

vartanarsen
May 23, 2011, 02:44 PM
Your 30% "Apple Tax" in action!

exactly...its like living in the Sopranos...

You pay Tony his Tax for protecting your shoppe.
Then, when other guys try to get money from you, you call big Tony, and he sends in Chris to break some knees. However, whatever you do, you have to make sure you pay Tony his Tax

jonnysods
May 23, 2011, 02:44 PM
Right on. Good for the devs, and bravo Apple for putting your weight behind this. Y

Dagless
May 23, 2011, 02:45 PM
I wonder if Lodsys will run scared now. I mean I imagine Apple's legal team is about the size of a small city.

lilo777
May 23, 2011, 02:46 PM
I have a feeling this is not going to turn out so well for Lodsys

As if Apple ever prevailed in patent disputes. Not even once.

Unggoy Murderer
May 23, 2011, 02:47 PM
That's excellent news, and I'm delighted that Apple made it clear to them to back off.

0815
May 23, 2011, 02:49 PM
In the name of all developers: thank you Apple.

Now we just have to wait what Lodsys does with it ... they still might call it BS and start suing the developers (but at least it seems the developers can now tap into the apple lawyer machinery).

If it turns out that they had no right to threaten with law suit - can the developers counter sue (with Apple backing) - or can Apple just sue Lodsys because of this)?

Do we know if some developers already payed (since they ware scared and didn't know what else to do, lacking the cash for lawyers)? Could those get the money back?

Compile 'em all
May 23, 2011, 02:50 PM
This is pretty awesome. Thanks Apple!

Dear Lodsys,
Suck it.

-iOS Devs

the8thark
May 23, 2011, 02:50 PM
Because heaven forbid someone thinks Apple is a nice company:rolleyes:

http://www.intomobile.com/2011/03/15/apple-stores-tokyo-go-above-and-beyond-during-2011-earthquake/
Apple only gave money to Japan cause they had business interests there. What about the Australian floods or the New Zealand earthquakes or many other nameless natural disaster Apple did not help out with.

Apple is a business. And will always do what it takes to protect their own interests and make more money. It just happens that the developers interests and Apple's interests match up at this time. Next time the developers might not be so lucky.

TMay
May 23, 2011, 02:50 PM
Step aside, Butch.

Butch steps aside, REVEALING Marsellus standing behind him,
holding Maynard's pump-action shotgun.

KABOOM!!!!

Zed is BLASTED in the groin. Down he goes, SCREAMING in AGONY.

Marsellus, looking down at his whimpering rapist, EJECTS the
used shotgun shell.

Butch lowers the sword and hangs back. Not a word, until:

BUTCH
You okay?

MARSELLUS
Naw man. I'm pretty ****in' far from
okay!

Long pause.

BUTCH
What now?

MARSELLUS
What now? Well let me tell you what
now. I'm gonna call a couple pipe-
hittin' *******, who'll go to work
on homes here with a pair of pliers
and a blow torch.
(to Zed)
Hear me talkin' hillbilly boy?! I
ain't through with you by a damn
sight. I'm gonna git Medieval on
your ass.

BUTCH
I meant what now, between me and
you?

MARSELLUS
Oh, that what now? Well, let me tell
ya what now between me an' you. There
is no me an' you. Not no more.

BUTCH
So we're cool?

MARSELLUS
Yeah man, we're cool. One thing I
ask – two things I ask: Don't tell
nobody about this. This ****'s between
me and you and the soon-to-be-livin'-
the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in-
agonizing-pain, Mr. Rapist here. It
ain't nobody else's business. Two:
leave town. Tonight. Right now. And
when you're gone, stay gone. You've
lost your Los Angeles privileges.
Deal?

BUTCH
Deal.

The two men shake hands, then hug one another.

MARSELLUS
Go on now, get your ass outta here.

Quentin Tarentino; "Pulp Fiction"

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2011, 02:52 PM
Apple only gave money to Japan cause they had business interests there. What about the Australian floods or the New Zealand earthquakes or many other nameless natural disaster Apple did not help out with.

Apple is a business. And will always do what it takes to protect their own interests and make more money. It just happens that the developers interests and Apple's interests match up at this time. Next time the developers might not be so lucky.

You're right. The developers should clearly go develop for another platforms that is not a business focused on its own interests. Oh wait that's all platforms

spillproof
May 23, 2011, 02:53 PM
I love how the letter is closed with "Very truly yours".

Glad Apple is helping the "App Makers"

50548
May 23, 2011, 02:54 PM
Go apple!

Time to put Lodsys out of its misery; and while one is at it, the world's stupidest patent system (USPTO as regards software patents) should go as well...amazing how much money and time is lost with frivolous lawsuits like this.

RodThePlod
May 23, 2011, 02:54 PM
Dear Lodsys,
Suck it.

-iOS Devs

Hahaha stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Lodsys :D

RTP.

chrono1081
May 23, 2011, 02:54 PM
Apple only gave money to Japan cause they had business interests there. What about the Australian floods or the New Zealand earthquakes or many other nameless natural disaster Apple did not help out with.

Apple is a business. And will always do what it takes to protect their own interests and make more money. It just happens that the developers interests and Apple's interests match up at this time. Next time the developers might not be so lucky.

First, although tragic none of those came close to the Japan incident as far as scale goes, and second how do you know they didn't donate? Many companies donate but don't advertise it because its seen as doing good only to attract attention. The stuff you read about Apple during the tsunami wasn't written by Apple, it was written by people witnessing it or living it.

Its a shame people like you fail to see any good that others do. There always has to be some hidden motivation behind everything doesn't there?

0815
May 23, 2011, 02:55 PM
Loadsys is the new Psystar. I think that, if this goes to court, Loadsys will find they are a load of something else.

Would probably still be a painful nerve wracking experience for the small developers (since they would get sucked into it) ... but I somehow want to see Lodsys pay for the BS they pulled.

mmcc
May 23, 2011, 02:56 PM
This is good, but let's not act like it's altruism on Apple's part. This is Apple protecting Apple's interest in ensuring that app developers can use the App Store and thus make wads of money for Apple. That it protects developers is an artifact of the app store model.

In short, in this case Apple's interests and those of developers are aligned. In a case where they do not align, don't expect Apple to "stand up" for developers out of the goodness of their hearts.

Well said. One such example is the awful Mac App Store which will do nothing to encourage Mac desktop developers and likely will put many out of business.

If Apple thinks bringing race to the bottom pricing to desktop apps has helped developers, they are out of touch.

Tiger8
May 23, 2011, 02:58 PM
Other than the obvious, I think another reason why Apple is reacting is because there are DOZENS of companies like Lodsys outthere waiting in the bushes to see how this will play out. If they kept silent, and Lodsys got its 0.5%, then count on all those hacks coming out from the bushes wanting a cut from everything...

But this should teach Lodsys -and other subspecies- a lesson.

tinman0
May 23, 2011, 03:00 PM
Lodsys does seem to be trying to stretch their profits IMO

They were hoping maybe that the small dev would roll over and just pay the fee....

Where is the news of their approaching Droid devs?

Wonder if Google have licensed the patents for their devs as well? ;)

0815
May 23, 2011, 03:01 PM
Honest question: Do Android applications provide in-app purchase (don't care if google based or home made)? If so, did any of those developers get any letters in the mail? I heard up only from iOS developers getting targeted ....

ehoui
May 23, 2011, 03:03 PM
Well said. One such example is the awful Mac App Store which will do nothing to encourage Mac desktop developers and likely will put many out of business.

If Apple thinks bringing race to the bottom pricing to desktop apps has helped developers, they are out of touch.

Have you used it? I have -- I bought two apps, a utility I needed for development and a game for my daughter. The prices are more expensive than iphone apps and the whole process was incredibly smooth. Just like buying books for my NookColor, I'll end up spending more money because the process is easy and fast. That's a benefit to developers and consumers.

TimTheEnchanter
May 23, 2011, 03:03 PM
So it's confirmed.... Steve has a huge chock! :D

Seriously, I had to pause and re-read his first tweet again.

DocNYz
May 23, 2011, 03:04 PM
Step aside, Butch.

Butch steps aside, REVEALING Marsellus standing behind him,
holding Maynard's pump-action shotgun.

KABOOM!!!!

Zed is BLASTED in the groin. Down he goes, SCREAMING in AGONY.

Marsellus, looking down at his whimpering rapist, EJECTS the
used shotgun shell.

Butch lowers the sword and hangs back. Not a word, until:

BUTCH
You okay?

MARSELLUS
Naw man. I'm pretty ****in' far from
okay!

Long pause.

BUTCH
What now?

MARSELLUS
What now? Well let me tell you what
now. I'm gonna call a couple pipe-
hittin' *******, who'll go to work
on homes here with a pair of pliers
and a blow torch.
(to Zed)
Hear me talkin' hillbilly boy?! I
ain't through with you by a damn
sight. I'm gonna git Medieval on
your ass.

BUTCH
I meant what now, between me and
you?

MARSELLUS
Oh, that what now? Well, let me tell
ya what now between me an' you. There
is no me an' you. Not no more.

BUTCH
So we're cool?

MARSELLUS
Yeah man, we're cool. One thing I
ask – two things I ask: Don't tell
nobody about this. This ****'s between
me and you and the soon-to-be-livin'-
the-rest-of-his-short-ass-life-in-
agonizing-pain, Mr. Rapist here. It
ain't nobody else's business. Two:
leave town. Tonight. Right now. And
when you're gone, stay gone. You've
lost your Los Angeles privileges.
Deal?

BUTCH
Deal.

The two men shake hands, then hug one another.

MARSELLUS
Go on now, get your ass outta here.

Quentin Tarentino; "Pulp Fiction"

Zed's Dead baby.

0815
May 23, 2011, 03:05 PM
So it's confirmed.... Steve has a huge chock! :D

Seriously, I had to pause and re-read his first tweet again.

seems we all have only one thing on our mind .... :D ... I also had to read it twice.

DeaconGraves
May 23, 2011, 03:05 PM
Wonder if Google have licensed the patents for their devs as well? ;)

Yes, Google has the license, as does Microsoft.

Honest question: Do Android applications provide in-app purchase (don't care if google based or home made)? If so, did any of those developers get any letters in the mail? I heard up only from iOS developers getting targeted ....

Unsure about the first half of your question, but I wouldn't be surprised if Lodsys only tarted iOS developers (at least to start). It's the bigger marketplace (meaning more money out there to grab).

Westyfield2
May 23, 2011, 03:05 PM
<3 Apple

iansilv
May 23, 2011, 03:10 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

Call me a fan boy, but Steve's failure to **** around is exemplary amongst those who repeatedly fail to **** around.

taeclee99
May 23, 2011, 03:13 PM
Glad I wasn't the only one!

Agreed. That tweet should have been chock blocked.

JAT
May 23, 2011, 03:14 PM
LOL you're not alone. At first I was like "WOW, that's one appreciative dev!" :eek:

Not sure Steve's up to that right now, anyway.

JAT
May 23, 2011, 03:16 PM
Unsure about the first half of your question, but I wouldn't be surprised if Lodsys only tarted iOS developers (at least to start). It's the bigger marketplace (meaning more money out there to grab).

That was the report. Also, App Store is about the only place where apps cost anything. Not much to be gained by earning a percentage of free apps.

Skika
May 23, 2011, 03:16 PM
The mighty beast roared in warning, defending its pack.

I hope the chicken stops pecking, before it is eaten alive and spat out.

brijazz
May 23, 2011, 03:16 PM
chockenberry sounds like a rejected breakfast cereal from the '80s.

lloyddean
May 23, 2011, 03:16 PM
That's no tax. Apple earns their 30%.

This is just one of the many fine examples of Apple's work! :cool:

My point exactly.

ciTiger
May 23, 2011, 03:20 PM
Glad to see Apple is taking part in this issue! :D

saving107
May 23, 2011, 03:26 PM
I wonder if Lodsys run scared now. I mean I imagine Apple's legal team is about the size of a small city.

Its been said before that Apple Legal has their own building in Cupertino,

This is not it, but just a visual of how big their buildings are.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/83/248163476_8d068b969c.jpg

stevemiller
May 23, 2011, 03:26 PM
lodsys gagged by steve jobs hugs chock.

squirrelist
May 23, 2011, 03:30 PM
Yayyy walled garden!

Consultant
May 23, 2011, 03:42 PM
agreed. That tweet should have been chock blocked.

hugs = huge ;)

0815
May 23, 2011, 03:44 PM
So what are now the legal options?

What can be done against companies like Lodsys that spread fear based on nothing to small developers that don't have the means to defend themselves? Is there some cooperate anti bully law?

I hope Apple comes up with something to shut this company down for good.

Having stupid patents is one thing - but using stupid patents that are already licensed to bully others into paying again is just wrong and should be illegal.

richardsonrs
May 23, 2011, 03:54 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

WTG APPLE

stevenshizzle
May 23, 2011, 03:55 PM
The mighty dragon has spoken.

RoelJuun
May 23, 2011, 03:57 PM
Why do people always tend to post childish-hip-written posts on Twitter. And than accompany it with another childish lame picture. Ridiculous.

0815
May 23, 2011, 03:58 PM
Wonder if Google have licensed the patents for their devs as well? ;)

I think the important point is the the developers are using Apples implementation and servers for the in app purchase. --> no double dipping (they can't ask for license for the one who implements it (apple) and the one who uses that implementation (developer/user).

Developers wouldn't be covered if they implement their own in app purchase using their own servers.

So if Google/Microsoft provides an implementation and goes through their servers the developers should be covered as well.

Tiger8
May 23, 2011, 03:59 PM
So what are now the legal options?

What can be done against companies like Lodsys that spread fear based on nothing to small developers that don't have the means to defend themselves? Is there some cooperate anti bully law?

I hope Apple comes up with something to shut this company down for good.

Having stupid patents is one thing - but using stupid patents that are already licensed to bully others into paying again is just wrong and should be illegal.

It really depends on how it will play out. To answer your question, NO. There is no 'corporate anti-bullying' law. In fact, a lot of honest, decent companies and small shops go under because the big guy sues them or threatens to sue. Our legal system is so flawed that it would cost thousands of dollars just to defend yourself, and after months - years of letigation or courts, it could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But that said, with Apple in the game, hopefully this won't happen.

BTW a C&D letter typically indicates a potential lawsuit. Apple can, theoratically, sue Lodsys for lost revenue; due to Lodsys bullying, developers stopped selling apps in apple store, which affected apple's 30% cut, which adds up to millions of dollars of damage (lost profit).

hcho3
May 23, 2011, 04:01 PM
In other words, "Leave our friends alone, or we will fight you to the death."

Apple is the most valued tech companies in the world. They can kick Microsoft, so we will see.

ChristianJapan
May 23, 2011, 04:01 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Great; right move from Apple; though it's not over yet. Apple got a license to for it's Eco system; that should cover all AppStore SKU's incl developers apps

gnasher729
May 23, 2011, 04:02 PM
That's no tax. Apple earns their 30%.

Just one way how developers benefit from the store: Gift cards. People get iTunes gift cards for Christmas, birthdays, and so on, and they use that money to buy apps. Without the App Store, there is no way that developers would get a share of that money.

Lesser Evets
May 23, 2011, 04:03 PM
chockenberry sounds like a rejected breakfast cereal from the '80s.

Ahh, I get it.

fagosu
May 23, 2011, 04:06 PM
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

I'm glad I'm not the only one that needed to re-read it :D

Rodimus Prime
May 23, 2011, 04:07 PM
This would not protect IOS developers that also develop for other platforms.

Yeah that is my fear as well. Also the only reason Apple even "licensed" the patent is because it was part of a huge block of patents licensed from another company that lodsys bought patents from and Lodsys was required to honor all agreements made before hand and part of a block of 1000+ these crap patents were part of it.
I almost wish Apple would go to try to get it declared invalided.

JonB3Z
May 23, 2011, 04:08 PM
Glass half empty much?

Apple has heart. Period. A lot of corporations do.

Up to a point, perhaps, but when a corporation takes an action that serves its own interests, it's not unreasonable to think that was a significant factor in their decision making.

Plus, publicly traded corporations have stockholders who will take a dim view of management actions that don't well serve the bottom line. To think otherwise is naive.

Kane08
May 23, 2011, 04:09 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

Actually, that was a state supreme court (Indiana I believe) that ruled that you couldn't resist an unlawful entry by police into your home, but you could still press charges. Total crap ruling, but just wanted to put the facts out there

JonB3Z
May 23, 2011, 04:14 PM
Because heaven forbid someone thinks Apple is a nice company:rolleyes:

http://www.intomobile.com/2011/03/15/apple-stores-tokyo-go-above-and-beyond-during-2011-earthquake/

Not really the same thing, is it? I mean, I contributed to Japanese earthquake relief, but I'm not hiring a lawyer to defend other people against Lodsys. This action by Apple is clearly in their own best interests. That it is also in the interests of independent developers is a fortuitous win-win.

0815
May 23, 2011, 04:20 PM
Not really the same thing, is it? I mean, I contributed to Japanese earthquake relief, but I'm not hiring a lawyer to defend other people against Lodsys. This action by Apple is clearly in their own best interests. That it is also in the interests of independent developers is a fortuitous win-win.

Of course Apple does not do it out of charity ... its mainly a big cooperation that needs to make money. The independent developers are part of their money making strategy. If they would have this one let through, they would have suffered a big loss since too many independed devs would have stopped (or not started) developing good stuff. They could have said 'ok, we have a big enough app and developer base, we don't need to bother' - but that would have hurt their reputation (on the short term).

I still applaude Apple that they didn't rush out any stupid statements but took the time to look into the problem and than fire back (in support of the developers and their own advantage)

chrono1081
May 23, 2011, 04:20 PM
Not really the same thing, is it? I mean, I contributed to Japanese earthquake relief, but I'm not hiring a lawyer to defend other people against Lodsys. This action by Apple is clearly in their own best interests. That it is also in the interests of independent developers is a fortuitous win-win.

Well we will have to agree to disagree. Sure Apple wants to protect their interests but they also have a genuine care for their employees and their developers. Ask anyone who works for Apple or has been to their WWDC's.

dwsolberg
May 23, 2011, 04:23 PM
This is one of many reasons why the iOS is the best platform for developers. It may be good business, but it's still nice.

chirpie
May 23, 2011, 04:32 PM
My lawyer can beat up your lawyer.

wovel
May 23, 2011, 04:34 PM
Well technically they can't countersue because no one at all has been sued yet.

However, Apple could potentially intervene in any suit. I have little to no knowledge of patent law but elsewhere there is a concept called a "declaratory action" where a party can sue another to get a judge's ruling on what a contract says. Potentially Apple could do something similar here to get a ruling that its license covers all app store devs.

As if Apple ever prevailed in patent disputes. Not even once.



Microsoft settled for quite a bit of cash...

DrDomVonDoom
May 23, 2011, 04:50 PM
Microsoft settled for quite a bit of cash...

Zing!

theelysium
May 23, 2011, 04:56 PM
Who let the dogs out!?!?!?!?! :D

DotComCTO
May 23, 2011, 04:56 PM
Image (http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/05/hockenberry_lodsys.jpg)

Im sorry but I misread the end of the first line for something else at first!!! :eek:

Yeah. I did a double take as well. I thought he said he wanted to kiss Steve's huge c***.

HAHAHAHAHA!

That would have been much funnier!

:p

--DotComCTO

codewrangler
May 23, 2011, 05:02 PM
I like that Apple doesn't do 'gut' reactions and takes the time to evaluate what the issue is and where they stand legally, yet still responds in a timely manner.

I assumed that the outcome would be that they would back their devs on this. It was just a matter of determining what their license actually allows and affirming it to the satisfaction of their legal team.

Way to go Apple! I think it's awesome that you are backing your devs and allowing them to just do what they do best.

Excellent! :)

kicolas
May 23, 2011, 05:18 PM
From lodsys's website FAQ :
Q: Is Lodsys “shooting in the dark” hoping for a payout? (www.tuaw.com)
05/15/2011

No, Lodsys is methodically selling its product (patent rights) in the most efficient means it can. [....]

WOW !!! Seriously !!! Patents shouldn't be considered as a product to sell. It should helps companies to create, develop, invent a product and sell it !

Take a look at lodsys's website, they are obviously patent troll.

Software patent laws should change.

krye
May 23, 2011, 05:23 PM
Jeez, I had to read that tweet twice. I thought it said "Steve, I wan't to kiss your huge c@#k"!! My bad.

Sunreacher
May 23, 2011, 05:28 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; nl-nl) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Steve Jobs: "And now i want to introduce you to a new service, specially for our developers. iCountersue is a revolutionary service. It will protect our magical App Market. It's AMAZING, and it now available for just an extra 10% of your sales. Magical."

damage00
May 23, 2011, 05:48 PM
I think council meant to say "irrefutably licensed" not "undisputedly licensed". By definition, Lodsys making claims against the developers means the licenses are disputed.

McGrol
May 23, 2011, 06:02 PM
Pixie dust prevails..

****************eNnbP

KnightWRX
May 23, 2011, 06:06 PM
So if Google/Microsoft provides an implementation and goes through their servers the developers should be covered as well.

Google's is called In-App Billing : http://developer.android.com/guide/market/billing/index.html

Let's hope every OS vendor stands behind their devs like Apple does here.

Let's also hope this is not something Lodsys had planned for and have a response to.

toddybody
May 23, 2011, 06:07 PM
Nice to see a win for the little guy, supported by the big guy, against a...er...medium sized...guy?


Anyhow, go devs

ten-oak-druid
May 23, 2011, 06:09 PM
Well the app stores seem to be doing a good job. Apple took the appropriate time to consider this and decided to tell lodsys they need to stop. And Google recently took the time to remove over 20 malware apps that somehow made it into the android store.

Amazing Iceman
May 23, 2011, 06:23 PM
I think that Apple took time to answer to this threat as it was making sure all angles were covered. In some way all Developers are covered by the Apple Patent for these among other reasons:
- Apple implemented the patent into functions of the iOS SDK. Developers only invoke those functions, just as a user would invoke a function of any program.
- Due to the fact that all iOS Apps distribution uses the Apple App Store, taking Apple a percentage of the profits and paying the rest to the Developers, and being no other 'legal' way to do so, all iOS Developers would technically be considered as sub-contracted developers working for Apple. To understand this better, keep in mind that all iOS Apps MUST be evaluated and approved by Apple. If Developers were 'independent', their apps wouldn't need to be approved by Apple at all. So in a way, all iOS Developers that belong to the iOS Developers Program work for Apple, and Apple is already licensed for those patents.

What do you think?

Amazing Iceman
May 23, 2011, 06:25 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; nl-nl) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

Steve Jobs: "And now i want to introduce you to a new service, specially for our developers. iCountersue is a revolutionary service. It will protect our magical App Market. It's AMAZING, and it now available for just an extra 10% of your sales. Magical."

Is it gestures based, such as a xxxxx of a finger?

farmboy
May 23, 2011, 06:28 PM
As if Apple ever prevailed in patent disputes. Not even once.

Hard to say since most patent infringement suits are settled out of court and may involve cross licensing. Is licensing winning or losing?

Amazing Iceman
May 23, 2011, 06:34 PM
Hard to say since most patent infringement suits are settled out of court and may involve cross licensing. Is licensing winning or losing?

I would consider most settlements outside a court to be a winning move.
And cross licensing usually opens positive future collaborative opportunities between opposing sides.
Who knows, maybe Apple decides to buy Lodsys if considers it to be a wise move.

programmasters
May 23, 2011, 06:39 PM
lodsys is soooo powned.
Even if lodsys wanted to pursue legal action, apple's has an army of advocates lodsys wouldn't know what hit them. The best thing for lodys to do is to back off. And they should because a patent for a button is really not a patent in my eyes, it is more public domain. So if lodsys wanted to push thru and make a button a patented thing, it would be working against the progress of society.

there are a reason why lodsys is called a patent troll, and one off them is no one really likes lodsys and it has no real purpose except to work against society.

i know it is already a patent but this patent shouldn't be a patent

ThunderSkunk
May 23, 2011, 06:43 PM
Jeez, I had to read that tweet twice. I thought it said "Steve, I wan't to kiss your huge c@#k"!! My bad.

Hah, same here... Jeez

Chundles
May 23, 2011, 06:53 PM
My lawyer can beat up your lawyer.

More like "My building of lawyers can beat up your lawyer."

N3rds
May 23, 2011, 06:59 PM
in other news, apple news we care about...

programmasters
May 23, 2011, 07:20 PM
More like "My building of lawyers can beat up your lawyer."

i think country of lawyers is even more correct

ghostlyorb
May 23, 2011, 08:05 PM
Apple will win.. I just know it.

CFreymarc
May 23, 2011, 08:55 PM
Translation: "Back the ******* off!"

Yup, and now it is time for find the attorney at the law firm representing Lodsys here. Considering the seniority of the attorney, or worst just a paralegal, it will either be a write up in their loss column for their review, dismissal or something to laugh about during a martini lunch.

314631
May 23, 2011, 08:58 PM
lodsys is soooo powned.


Not really. If you really believe Lodsys legal team didn't consider a scenario where Apple would respond like this, then you need to take a step into the real world. The question is what Lodsys planned to do once Apple issued this response. We'll find out soon enough. I doubt we've heard the end of this issue yet.

rdlink
May 23, 2011, 08:59 PM
exactly...its like living in the Sopranos...

You pay Tony his Tax for protecting your shoppe.
Then, when other guys try to get money from you, you call big Tony, and he sends in Chris to break some knees. However, whatever you do, you have to make sure you pay Tony his Tax

What a crock. The App store was created out of whole cloth by Apple. The devs were invited to come play after the foundation was laid, and provided all of the tools they needed to make money. Apple said, "You want a safe place to build your products, come on in. Just pay us for the fact that we developed the concept, and we built the infrastructure." A mobster comes in after the fact, when you have already built your business, and offers you "protection" to stay in business.

How much money would most of these devs be making if Apple hadn't started the App store? I suppose that eBay was a "mob" idea, too?

This is the mentality that has this country on the brink of ruin. The thought that companies like Apple, who build the infrastructure to make money for their shareholders are somehow less for doing so.

Grow up.

kalsta
May 23, 2011, 10:47 PM
Yay Apple!

For all the criticism Apple receives, it is a company that makes money by developing new products that do enrich people's lives. The same can be said for the software developers. What does a company like Lodsys actually contribute to the world?

dukebound85
May 23, 2011, 10:51 PM
Yay Apple!

For all the criticism Apple receives, it is a company that makes money by developing new products that do enrich people's lives. The same can be said for the software developers. What does a company like Lodsys actually contribute to the world?

Why, the ability to make in app purchases!

Vercingetorix
May 23, 2011, 10:52 PM
IMO this isn't over yet, since it's about money.

Since Lodsys seems to be Pr$%cks to begin with they will continue this , then
settle with Apple for more money.

Lodsys is a one- or two- or three-man shop with some sketchy patents. Apple has a building full of enormously well paid lawyers. Now that they are involved, why would Apple settle for a dime? All that would do is encourage the next attack on iOS developers. Apple isn't going to give an inch.

kalsta
May 23, 2011, 11:55 PM
Why, the ability to make in app purchases!

Ha. Well I guess the real test of whether a company is actually contributing anything to the world is this: if it were disappear tomorrow, would anyone outside the company be worse off? I dare say the answer is no. They didn't create the technology, just bought the patent to someone else's idea so they could make money from charging a license fee. It's the same with domain name squatters — they're simply taking advantage of a system in order to line their own pockets. They contribute no useful product or service to the community.

MattInOz
May 24, 2011, 12:00 AM
Software patents are fine, if you are using them to protect your work from being stolen....

What I don't think is ok, is a company like Lodsys, that patents tech that they are not even using, or plan to use, for the sole purpose of going after developers that actually want to implement the tech and create something with it..

Copyright should offer more than enough protection from having your software stolen in either units or ideas.

TMar
May 24, 2011, 12:33 AM
Lodsys never had a leg to stand on with this one and it's about time Apple Fired back. No doubt Apple licensed this for the SDK, developers are just using the tools they are given.

donny77
May 24, 2011, 01:18 AM
I think council meant to say "irrefutably licensed" not "undisputedly licensed". By definition, Lodsys making claims against the developers means the licenses are disputed.

No, Apple undisputedly owns a license. Lodsys says so on their website. i.e No dispute. The dispute is that the developers require their own license, which they don't, as long as they use Apple's APIs and servers for said service.

Met
May 24, 2011, 01:25 AM
Though I do agree that the patent is a load of bull and should just be abandoned all together, I don't think Apple has much of a point in their counter-case. Just because Apple is licensed, doesn't mean all the apps are. Apple would be licensing their OS and their own apps, not all the apps on their OS. If that were the case, then no software company should ever get sued, it should be the OS writers for providing an OS with the ability to do said patented idea.

xeoh85
May 24, 2011, 01:57 AM
Apple's response, at this point, is little more than PR posturing. Here's why:

First, all patent licenses are unique, and the scope of a license depends on its particular terms. The quesiton will be whether Apple's license granted it the right to provide the APIs in question to third parties, or rather was limited to Apple's own use of the IP.

If Apple's license grants Apple the right to "provide" or "sell" the APIs in question to third parties, then Apple's argument that the exhaustion/first sale doctrine bars infringement suits against its developers likely has merit. Under an alternative theory, Apple would have a strong argument in such case that its express license included an implied license for each developer utilizing Apple's APIs.

However, if Apple's license only grants Apple the right to "use" (and not sell) the software in question, then the license granted to Apple would only extend to Apple. Apple's provision of the APIs to developers would not be "authorized sales" of the IP, which would mean that the doctrine of exhaustion/first sale does not apply. This is the more likely scenario, I believe, because you will notice that Apple's response letter does not directly quote any language from the licensing agreement which states that Apple has been licensed to provide the APIs to third parties. Rather, Apple merely broadly asserts that there is no dispute as to the fact that Applie has "licensed" the IP. This seems like a deliberate obfuscation.

Second, there is very little Apple can do to Lodsys here unless Lodsys actually pulls the trigger and sues one of the developers. (In that case, Apple could only intervene and defend the developer.) Because the threats Lodsys made were against the developers and not Apple itself, Apple likely does not have legal standing to preemptively sue Lodsys for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement or patent invalidity. Lodsys would argue that Apple has no reason to itself fear legal action from Lodsys because Apple itself has licensed the IP, and Lodsys could even unilaterally grant Apple a covenant not to sue Apple. Lodsys could then continue threatening Apple's developers with impunity and Apple couldn't do a damn thing about it. The threatened developers themselves would have legal standing to bring declaratory judgment actions against Lodsys, but they will not do so for lack of resources. Apple would have to either (a) convince one of the developers to sue Lodsys, with Apple's financial and legal backing, or (b) agree to indemnify all of its developers against patent infringement suits relating to this tech, thereby giving Apple itself standing to sue Lodsys. Apple has not yet taken either of these steps.

The ball is in Lodsys's court now, but rest assured, Apple has done little to actually threaten Lodsys here. This letter was mostly a PR move to attempt to ease developers' fears, not a substantive legal counterpunch to Lodsys.

Cheers!

-X

gnasher729
May 24, 2011, 02:26 AM
Though I do agree that the patent is a load of bull and should just be abandoned all together, I don't think Apple has much of a point in their counter-case. Just because Apple is licensed, doesn't mean all the apps are. Apple would be licensing their OS and their own apps, not all the apps on their OS. If that were the case, then no software company should ever get sued, it should be the OS writers for providing an OS with the ability to do said patented idea.

If you had bothered to read the patents you would have seen that Apple is absolutely right. The patents are things that you can do by communicating between devices and a server. The server is Apple's server. The devices are built by Apple with the communication software built in. If you buy an iPhone, without any of the applications whose developers are being sued, the invention is already present on the iPhone, and Apple has a license. The developers don't actually include the invention in their application, they are just using it. You need a license to build the invented thing, not for using it.

An analogy would be that the freezer in your home is covered by multiple patents, and the company building the freezer has paid for licenses to all these patents. Now one of the patent holders starts suing you for using their invention.

Things would be different if a developer wrote their own implementation of this invention which would contact their own servers. For example if Microsoft ported Word to the iPad, and Word contacted Microsoft's servers using code written by Microsoft, not Apple's code in the OS, and downloaded updates from Microsoft's servers instead of Apple's, then they would have to worry. Although it seems that Apple also has the right to sublicense the patent, which would then cover that case as well, but isn't required for the typical developer.


Second, there is very little Apple can do to Lodsys here unless Lodsys actually pulls the trigger and sues one of the developers. (In that case, Apple could only intervene and defend the developer.) Because the threats Lodsys made were against the developers and not Apple itself, Apple likely does not have legal standing to preemptively sue Lodsys for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement or patent invalidity.

If Lodsys makes threats against developers writing software for iOS devices then this is quite obviously interfering with Apple's business and damaging to Apple - as is clearly evidenced by the fact that we are discussing this at all on MacRumors.com, and not on www.littledeveloperrumors.com. And anyway, Apple _can_ sue Lodsys for a declaratory judgement, or for illegal interference with Apple's business, because anyone can sue anyone, and they might just do that in order to cost Lodsys money.

xeoh85
May 24, 2011, 02:31 AM
If you had bothered to read the patents you would have seen that Apple is absolutely right. The patents are things that you can do by communicating between devices and a server. The server is Apple's server. The devices are built by Apple with the communication software built in. If you buy an iPhone, without any of the applications whose developers are being sued, the invention is already present on the iPhone, and Apple has a license. The developers don't actually include the invention in their application, they are just using it. You need a license to build the invented thing, not for using it.

An analogy would be that the freezer in your home is covered by multiple patents, and the company building the freezer has paid for licenses to all these patents. Now one of the patent holders starts suing you for using their invention.

Things would be different if a developer wrote their own implementation of this invention which would contact their own servers. For example if Microsoft ported Word to the iPad, and Word contacted Microsoft's servers using code written by Microsoft, not Apple's code in the OS, and downloaded updates from Microsoft's servers instead of Apple's, then they would have to worry. Although it seems that Apple also has the right to sublicense the patent, which would then cover that case as well, but isn't required for the typical developer.

We do not know the scope of Apple's license yet--i.e., whether it was a license to "provide" or "sell" the IP to third parties, or merely a license for Apple to "use" the IP. See my post above...

If Lodsys makes threats against developers writing software for iOS devices then this is quite obviously interfering with Apple's business and damaging to Apple - as is clearly evidenced by the fact that we are discussing this at all on MacRumors.com, and not on www.littledeveloperrumors.com. And anyway, Apple _can_ sue Lodsys for a declaratory judgement, or for illegal interference with Apple's business, because anyone can sue anyone, and they might just do that in order to cost Lodsys money.

Incorrect. While the issue of a manufacturer's standing to bring a declaratory judgment based on threats made against its customers is not entirely settled after the Supreme Court's decision in MedImmune, it is at least clear that pure economic harm to Apple caused by the threats to its customers would not be enough to create an Article III case or controversy. See here (http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2006/03/threats_against.html) and here (http://blog.hiplegal.com/2011/05/declaratory-judgment-and-the-supplier/).

MattInOz
May 24, 2011, 02:43 AM
Second, there is very little Apple can do to Lodsys here unless Lodsys actually pulls the trigger and sues one of the developers. (In that case, Apple could only intervene and defend the developer.) Because the threats Lodsys made were against the developers and not Apple itself, Apple likely does not have legal standing to preemptively sue Lodsys for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement or patent invalidity. Lodsys would argue that Apple has no reason to itself fear legal action from Lodsys because Apple itself has licensed the IP, and Lodsys could even unilaterally grant Apple a covenant not to sue Apple. Lodsys could then continue threatening Apple's developers with impunity and Apple couldn't do a damn thing about it. The threatened developers themselves would have legal standing to bring declaratory judgment actions against Lodsys, but they will not do so for lack of resources. Apple would have to either (a) convince one of the developers to sue Lodsys, with Apple's financial and legal backing, or (b) agree to indemnify all of its developers against patent infringement suits relating to this tech, thereby giving Apple itself standing to sue Lodsys. Apple has not yet taken either of these steps.

The ball is in Lodsys's court now, but rest assured, Apple has done little to actually threaten Lodsys here. This letter was mostly a PR move to attempt to ease developers' fears, not a substantive legal counterpunch to Lodsys.

Cheers!

-X

Not sure I understand why can't Apple make the first move?
Apple as stated are under the impression that they negotiated rights that cover the API's for the use of 3rd party developers to access Apples Implementation of the patents to create the App store. Apples keeping it's side (we assume and paying as required) of the deal but is calling in to question if other party is keeps theirs.

I'm confused as to why Apple being one party to a contract can't initiate action if they belief the contract to be in dispute and not being acted on in 'Good Faith' by the other party?

*disclaimer: Most of direct dealing with contract is as an Architect not a Lawyer. These contracts are for building works in Australia not USA.

xeoh85
May 24, 2011, 02:54 AM
Not sure I understand why can't Apple make the first move?
Apple as stated are under the impression that they negotiated rights that cover the API's for the use of 3rd party developers to access Apples Implementation of the patents to create the App store. Apples keeping it's side (we assume and paying as required) of the deal but is calling in to question if other party is keeps theirs.

I'm confused as to why Apple being one party to a contract can't initiate action if they belief the contract to be in dispute and not being acted on in 'Good Faith' by the other party?

*disclaimer: Most of direct dealing with contract is as an Architect not a Lawyer. These contracts are for building works in Australia not USA.

If, in Apple's licensing agreement, Lodsys agreed not to sue or threaten any of Apple's customers based on their use of the IP, then Apple would have standing to bring a breach of contract action against Lodsys. However, it is very very unlikely that the licensing agreement includes any such agreement not to sue Apple's customers. Even if it did, Apple's lawsuit against Lodsys would be a pure breach of contract action that, while it might entitle Apple to contract damages, would have no effect on Lodsys's patent rights in relation to the third party developers. That is, Apple could not assert non-infringement or invalidity arguments as a basis for any breach of contract claim, because those issues are irrelevant to the question of whether the (hypothetical) contract between Apple and Lodsys has been breached by Lodsys's threats.

Parystec
May 24, 2011, 03:50 AM
Yeah Got them on the run now :):apple:

gnasher729
May 24, 2011, 04:30 AM
Incorrect. While the issue of a manufacturer's standing to bring a declaratory judgment based on threats made against its customers is not entirely settled after the Supreme Court's decision in MedImmune, it is at least clear that pure economic harm to Apple caused by the threats to its customers would not be enough to create an Article III case or controversy. See here (http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2006/03/threats_against.html) and here (http://blog.hiplegal.com/2011/05/declaratory-judgment-and-the-supplier/).

These developers are not just "customers". Their work adds value to Apple's products. The number of apps for iOS is a major selling point, and Lodsys interferes with that selling point.

VulchR
May 24, 2011, 04:45 AM
I hope Apple knocks Lodsys back to the stone age...

I believe that patent lawsuits should be allowed if the plaintiff can actually show (1) they are commercially exploiting the patent for its intended use and (2) they can demonstrate loss of earnings. The damages should be limited to the lost earnings.

But that's just me talking...

xeoh85
May 24, 2011, 05:42 AM
These developers are not just "customers". Their work adds value to Apple's products. The number of apps for iOS is a major selling point, and Lodsys interferes with that selling point.

They are at once customers and independent contractors. From a Constitutional (Art. III) perspective, it does not matter how valuable their work is to Apple's business. Even if the Lodsys actions against developers were threatening to put Apple out of business, there would still be no legal standing for Apple to bring a declaratory judgment action. This is because the harm to Apple remains purely economic--i.e., Lodsys has not yet done anything to threaten Apple's LEGAL (not ecomic) interests. There is thus no Art. III "case or controversy" as required by the US Constitution and the Declaratory Judgment Act, and the federal courts lack jurisdiction over any declaratory judgment action brought by Apple.

irnchriz
May 24, 2011, 05:52 AM
Well, the delay from Apple would have been due to them running this by their multitude of lawyers to make sure that they are in the right (or if not, make sure they will kick Lodsys backside should it come to it)

I think that Lodsys will review the situation and find that they are ****ed.

RafaelT
May 24, 2011, 06:05 AM
Everyone is arguing about whether or not Apple can sue them to protect the developers.... Here are two things to consider.

1. There is nothing stopping Apple from sending it's lawyers to represent each of the developers. Apple can do whatever it likes with it's legal team. Or they can use a tiny fraction of their huge stockpile of cash to hire any lawyer they want to defend these guys.

2. Lodsys and Apple do have some sort of agreement. Apple clearly believes the agreement covers the developers, you think they can't sue over that?

Popeye206
May 24, 2011, 06:12 AM
Good for Apple. I'll be interested to see how Lodsys responds.

Side note: I had to re-read Hockenberry's first tweet a few times. At first I thought it was very NSFW. :eek:

ROFL! I thought the same thing on the first tweet! Double take! :eek:

As for Lodsys's response... I'm sure their lawyers are scrambling to see if their pockets are deep enough to even try.

Good for Apple to take the lead on this. But it makes sense.

Popeye206
May 24, 2011, 06:14 AM
Everyone is arguing about whether or not Apple can sue them to protect the developers.... Here are two things to consider.

1. There is nothing stopping Apple from sending it's lawyers to represent each of the developers. Apple can do whatever it likes with it's legal team. Or they can use a tiny fraction of their huge stockpile of cash to hire any lawyer they want to defend these guys.

2. Lodsys and Apple do have some sort of agreement. Apple clearly believes the agreement covers the developers, you think they can't sue over that?

I would assume that Apple could only counter sue if there were damages based on their actions. Otherwise, all they can do is get Lodsys to just stop pursuing their developers.

mrkramer
May 24, 2011, 06:45 AM
I would assume that Apple could only counter sue if there were damages based on their actions. Otherwise, all they can do is get Lodsys to just stop pursuing their developers.

I'm pretty sure that Apple could claim that by threatening their developers they scare people away from iOS thus creating damages to Apple and giving them an excuse to sue.

0815
May 24, 2011, 07:21 AM
Though I do agree that the patent is a load of bull and should just be abandoned all together, I don't think Apple has much of a point in their counter-case. Just because Apple is licensed, doesn't mean all the apps are. Apple would be licensing their OS and their own apps, not all the apps on their OS. If that were the case, then no software company should ever get sued, it should be the OS writers for providing an OS with the ability to do said patented idea.

I think you would be right if the developers had implemented their own system of in-app-purchase with their own developer owned server infrastructure. But the case here is that Apple build the API and server infrastructure and everything around it - everything developed and owned (and licensed where needed) by Apple. The small developer is just a 'user' of that infrastructure and therefor does not need to pay for a license since it is already payed for - patent owners can't charge both the producer and the user for the license. Again: this is for developers using apples infrastructure which is already licensed ... not for home made in-app purchases mechanism (which anyway wouldn't be allowed in the app store)

BornAgainMac
May 24, 2011, 07:22 AM
The profanity filter in twitter appears to be working by changing the letters of words.

Amazing Iceman
May 24, 2011, 08:03 AM
What a crock. The App store was created out of whole cloth by Apple. The devs were invited to come play after the foundation was laid, and provided all of the tools they needed to make money. Apple said, "You want a safe place to build your products, come on in. Just pay us for the fact that we developed the concept, and we built the infrastructure." A mobster comes in after the fact, when you have already built your business, and offers you "protection" to stay in business.

How much money would most of these devs be making if Apple hadn't started the App store? I suppose that eBay was a "mob" idea, too?

This is the mentality that has this country on the brink of ruin. The thought that companies like Apple, who build the infrastructure to make money for their shareholders are somehow less for doing so.

Grow up.
Apparently some people complain a out an Apple Tax without realizing what the typical requirements are for a developer who wants to make create an app and sell it on his own:

- Buy Visual Studio (or alternative product) and every upgrade that comes out.
- Create your own website and pay for hosting every month.
- Implement a software delivery engine with a Key generator or other mechanism to protect your app against piracy.
- Implement a Shopping Cart for your Website
- Pay monthly fees to take credit cards (the higher the volume, the lower the fees, so make sure to sell enough).
- Protect your site, maintain (upgrades, fixes, patches, etc.) it and monitor it to make sure it doesn't get hacked.
- Pay to advertise your website and push it up on the Search Engines for people to find it.
- Build a reputation for your website so people wouldn't be afraid to enter their credit card number and personal information each time they need to make a payment.
- if you don't know how to do some of the steps above, you'll need to pay someone to do them for you (a college boy may do these starting at $30.00/hr hopefully he knows how to do these tasks right).
- Hope your clients don't bail out during the lengthy Checkout Process.
- Make a sale, get paid sale price minus 2-3% for Credit Card fees.
- Find time to write more apps and grow your business.
- The a part-time job to pay for monthly expenses.

Considering the above, I wouldn't mind paying 30% Apple Tax at all if all I got to do is:
- Pay $100.00 Developer Program fee
- Develop App with free tools provided by Apple, free upgrades.
- Submit App to Apple.
- Get paid minus 30% commission to Apple.
- Keep writing more apps.

blow45
May 24, 2011, 08:41 AM
The profanity filter in twitter appears to be working by changing the letters of words.

yeah it obvious lodsys has chocked on Steve's cock with this, yet it gets misconstrued by twitter, lol.

PhantomPumpkin
May 24, 2011, 09:00 AM
Your 30% "Apple Tax" in action!

Great! Now can I see with this kind of transparency where my other taxes are going? :)

logandzwon
May 24, 2011, 09:41 AM
I like it. Good job Apple.

Photics
May 24, 2011, 10:06 AM
Just one way how developers benefit from the store: Gift cards. People get iTunes gift cards for Christmas, birthdays, and so on, and they use that money to buy apps. Without the App Store, there is no way that developers would get a share of that money.

It's not just the gift cards.

Apple handles the e-commerce.
Apple helps markets the apps (Getting featured is still one of the best ways for an app to be popular.)
Apple created the hardware on which the apps run.
Apple created software to make the apps.


Sure, the relationship is symbiotic. The iPhone / iPad is popular because there are great apps on iOS. Yet, Apple does a great job. I've had a much better experience developing for the iTunes App Store than the Android Market.

gschumsky
May 24, 2011, 11:48 AM
Nice! Even though Lodsys owns the patent, it would always be smart for them, or anyone who owns a patent and then licenses it, to read it before attacking people for patent infringement. They knew they couldn't go after Apple, since a: They already licensed it to them, and b: Apple is too big; but they probably thought "We're going to be short on our quarterly's- who do we go after? Ah, the little guys who don't know the license and we can scare the crud out of them with a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo!"
Of course they didn't figure the app developers would go to Apple for help, and of course this stunk the minute they sent the letters out.
App Developers:1
Lodsys and other patent holders: 0

bugfaceuk
May 24, 2011, 12:21 PM
in other news, apple news we care about...

He posted on page 6 of the discussion thread.

JAT
May 24, 2011, 12:37 PM
you will notice that Apple's response letter does not directly quote any language from the licensing agreement which states that Apple has been licensed to provide the APIs to third parties. Rather, Apple merely broadly asserts that there is no dispute as to the fact that Applie has "licensed" the IP. This seems like a deliberate obfuscation.
Well, it takes one to know one, of course. And IANAL. But Apple appears to have said more than just "we are licensed".

the technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers.
Would Sewell really make a mistake like that?

caspersoong
May 27, 2011, 07:51 AM
Apple is not as bad as I thought to developers...Too much negative propaganda.

Mal
May 27, 2011, 08:10 AM
So of course, IANAL, but if Apple believes that the devs are covered under their license, could they not sue for breach of contract if Lodsys is suing someone already covered under the license that Apple negotiated? I've seen a lot of talk that Apple couldn't sue based on them harassing their developers or harming their ecosystem, which I can understand, but I didn't remember seeing this option talked about. Seems that if Lodsys actually tries to sue a developer, they could be getting more than they bargained for.

jW