Apple wins battle to intervene in Lodsys suit against iOS developers
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has won its fight to intervene on behalf of iOS developers targeted in a lawsuit filed last year by patent holding company Lodsys.
The suit, originally filed in May 2011, contends iOS developers including Rovio Mobile, Atari, Electronic Arts, Square Enix and Quickoffice are violating Lodsys intellectual property right by implementing in-app purchase options within their iPhone and iPad applications. Apple filed a motion to intervene in the suit weeks later, claiming it properly licensed Lodsys' patents and that those licenses extend to the APIs it provides to registered iOS developers.
Ten months after Apple first filed to intervene, Texas district judge Rodney Gilstrap this week finally granted the computing giant's request, provided "such intervention is limited to the issues of patent exhaustion and licensing." The ruling essentially sets the stage for Apple's legal team to square off head-to-head with Lodsys, freeing developers and publishers from securing their own legal representation.
Lodsys fought against Apple's intervention in the suit, but Apple argued its interests could be impaired if its motion was denied. While Lodsys maintained "the defendants will more than adequately represent Apple's purported interest," stating companies like EA and Rovio are large enough to mount a proper defense, Apple countered None of the defendants have the technical information, expertise, and knowledge regarding how Apple's technology works or the negotiation and intent of the License itself to fully articulate and develop Apple's exhaustion defense."
Although the specifics behind the lengthy delay in the case are unclear, FOSS Patents notes that Gilstrap replaced the original judge, who resigned.
Lodsys is seeking 0.575 percent of U.S. revenues over the period from the original 2011 notice letter to the expiration of the patent, plus applicable past usage. FOSS Patents adds that a handful of defendants have settled out of court; terms were not disclosed.
- read this FOSS Patents blog entry
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