As noted by “MacRumors” (www.macrumors.com), the Lodys Group (www.lodsys.com) has published two blog posts regarding its patent dispute with Apple.
The first post reads: “The in-app purchase scenario has been the focal point of a great deal of press and Internet discussion, given the popularity of Apple iOS and the large number of developers that have chosen to use the in-app purchase / freemium business model. As a part of the Inter-Parties Reexamination requested by Google, the USPTO recently issued an Office Action confirming Claim 24 of US Patent 7,222,078. This claim is particularly relevant regarding in-app purchases and free-to-paid application upgrades. In addition, we have every confidence that all claims will ultimately be confirmed through this lengthy process. In-app purchase features and free-to-paid upgrades will be a part of the litigation process that is now swiftly moving forward.
“In that process, the Court has allowed Apple to participate to try to make the case that their license rights for Apple products extends to the products of unrelated third party developers. That issue has been consolidated with others that are the subject of litigation and they are scheduled for trial in 2013. The dispute about the scope of Apple’s license rights extending to 3rd parties remains unresolved and clearly contested. This is irrespective of Apple’s unilateral declarations to the contrary and their insistence that the documents that underlie the issue remain shrouded in secrecy to prevent application developers and others from determining the scope of Apple’s license for themselves.”
The second post reads: “As of October 8, 2012, there are greater than 150 companies which obtained the rights to use the Lodsys Group patent portfolio, and more than 4 out of 5 of these companies have entered into licenses outside of the litigation process. These companies have realized significant savings by taking advantage of lower licensing rates. Lodsys Group has engaged the firm, IPMG AG to conduct a non-litigation licensing program.”
In 2011 Lodsys sued some iOS developers for using in-app purchasing systems that it claims violates patents it owns. The patent holding firm has targeted small iOS developers with notices of patent infringement for providing in-app purchase and/or Apple App Store purchase links within their apps.
Apple’s legal department has come to the defense of iOS app developers with a letter to Lodsys regarding its patent dispute with app developers. In the letter to Lodsys, Bruce Sewell, Apple senior vice president and general counsel said, “Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license. Thus 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 … These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store. Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claims by Lodsys.”