We reported last week on the appalling actions of Lodsys. The patent licensing firm has been sending out letters to iOS developers, threatening legal action if they aren’t paid royalties for the use of their invention.

The company’s claim that iOS apps with in-app purchasing options are infringing on their patent has been causing an uproar in the developer community. While everyone holds vigilant to see what (if anything) Apple has to say on the matter, the EFF decided to speak up yesterday…

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a statement on Friday regarding the Lodsys patent situation. They urged Apple to step in and provide some kind of support to developers against the Lodsys threat.

“We’ve been waiting expectantly for Apple to step up and protect the app developers accused of patent infringement solely for using a technology that Apple required they use in order to sell their apps in Apple’s App Store.”

Although Apple is not the target behind the lawsuit, the EFF believes that it should not be each developer’s job to investigate all of Apple’s copyrights and licenses. It should be the responsibility of the copyright holder [Apple] to know the extent of their licenses.

More than a week has passed, and Apple has yet to say anything publicly on the matter. Though, as MacRumors points out, Apple has a tendency to avoid responding to public relations crises, without having all of the facts.

Lodsys gave most involved developers a three week deadline to respond to the letters, expiring just before WWDC on June 6. I personally agree with the EFF and hope that “Apple will do whats right and stand up for their developers and help teach the patent trolls a lesson.”

What do you think Apple should do?

  • Vice

    No. It’s not like crying to your mother about a ticket, or any other example you can relate to. This is like a company with the financial means to squash a lawsuit being asked to defend some developers that have contributed to the iOS platform. The iPhone isn’t what it os because of it’s browser, because it’s a music player, or because it can take pictures. Many phones do that. The question here is will Apple defend a few developers for something they required them to do.

  • So its okay for some patents to be enforced but not others? Interesting.

  • Burk

    Troll or not, if Lodsys has the rights to a patent, and you wanna use it, pay for it. The developers are making money off of their apps, why shouldn’t they pay the necessary fees for using something not invented by them? All businesses have to, why would an exception be expected? Yeah, Apple could have been more transparent to their developers, but it doesn’t change the fact that you should pay for what you use.