Apple Backs Developers Against Lodsys Patent Threats, Says Devs 'Undisputedly Licensed'

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 23, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Developer Craig Hockenberry responds to Apple's notice
    As reported by The Loop, Apple has finally responded regarding developers beingtargeted 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.
    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'
     
  2. macrumors newbie

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    #2
    Go apple!
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #3
    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:
     
  4. macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #4
    That's great news. Maybe Apple should countersue.


    Someone has a dirty mind.
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    Vertigo50

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    #5
    Translation: "Back the ******* off!"
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    RafaelT

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    #6
    I have a feeling this is not going to turn out so well for Lodsys
     
  7. macrumors member

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    #7
    They can't "countersue", Apple is not the one being sued here, its the devs.
     
  8. macrumors member

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    #8
    Glad I wasn't the only one!
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    NebulaClash

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    #9
    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?"
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #10
    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.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    #12
    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).
     
  13. macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    #13
    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 s**t on the little guy!
     
  14. macrumors 603

    kas23

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    #14
    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?
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

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    #15
    Me, too. One letter missing and that was going to be pretty NSFW.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #16
    This was a great article from last week talking about the issue: http://thisismynext.com/2011/05/17/...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.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Trius

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    #18
    I support protecting a developer's work...

    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..
     
  19. macrumors member

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    [​IMG]

    Im sorry but I misread the end of the first line for something else at first!!! :eek:
     
  20. macrumors 6502

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    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    hankolerd

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    #21
    I had the very same thought haha. Good for Apple to get there hands dirty so eagerly! :apple:
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    ten-oak-druid

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    May 2, 2002
    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors regular

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    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 65816

    RalfTheDog

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    #25
    This would not protect IOS developers that also develop for other platforms.
     

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