Apple Fires Back at Lodsys, Insists to Intervene in Lawsuit

By , Aug 9, 2011

The ongoing litigation between Lodsys and a large group of iOS developers just took another turn yesterday. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 90 days, then you should be informed that Lodsys is suing a handful of iOS app developers for infringing on their recently purchased patents.

About 2 months ago, Apple filed a motion to intervene as a defendant against the patent licensing firm, but was quickly met with an objection from Lodsys’ lawyers. After a few weeks of silence, Apple finally filed a response yesterday — and it’s good…

FOSS Patents breaks down the document, saying “Apple’s filing tears into pieces the arguments put forward by Lodsys’ opposition brief.” The Cupertino company’s reply was heavily redacted, but the site was able to get the jist of it.

Apple filed to intervene in the case because they believe that their licensing deals with Lodsys cover their developers, too. The firm fired back saying that Apple’s filing for intervention was premature and only for economical reasons, not justice.

A snippet of FOSS Patents’ summary of Apple’s rebuttal:

“Lodsys claimed Apple had only an “economic” interest in this case. However, Apple says that Lodsys has ignored “the authorities cited by Apple in its opening brief, which would hold unambiguously that a license is itself a sufficient property interest as a matter of law.” Moreover, Lodsys had denied that Apple had a supplier-customer relationship with the app developers that could be a basis for an intervention, but Apple says that it “provides products and services to the App Makers in exchange for payment, precisely the type of supplier-customer relationship courts have found sufficient to permit intervention.”

After reading through Apple’s entire response, Florian Mueller (of FOSSPatents) expects the court to allow the company to intervene. And since this is likely the last written pleading before the court decides, that announcement could come any day now.

If the court doesn’t allow Apple to defend their license against Lodsys, then it would be up to app developers to fend for themselves. To say there’s a lot riding on the judge’s decision would be an understatement.

Thoughts? Will the court allow Apple to intervene?

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  • Dane

    Apple should stay out of it. Developers dont want people buying one license to their software and sharing it w everyone. So why should Apple be allowed to license a patent and then put every single dev under their umbrella. LODSYS owns the patent and should get paid by every dev trying to use it

    • Brian

      Tell me you are fucking kidding.

      • jimmy

        yeah don’t you know this is now purely an apple fanboi site. your comments should support apple regardless of how evil they are or many rubbish patents they take out. On a side note Steve Jobs excrement smells like roses.

    • TheLoadmanCometh

      Lodsys worker, meet Apple Employee – Im gona rip your balls off.

      And I mean it.

    • Night

      Sorry but what you just said is dimwitted and short sighted, think about it… you own a car dealership, you bought some cars from Chevrolet, when trying to sell them, the company holding the patent on the Breaks comes and start suing you, does this makes sens to you?

      And think about it, would apple stick is neck into this without a good reason? If apple has nothing important to say, why does Lodsys rejecting to the idea of Apple been part of this process?

      The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason!!

      If your reasoning comes to the conclusion that the big companies holding the patents should be allow to halt progress… well…

      • Dane

        @night. Your example doesn’t work. Chevy makes the car so they pay for the patents. Apple isnt creating the apps. The devs using the patent in their software need to pay for it.

        It’s funny how when Apple sues Samsumg and every other company people here support it but when someone comes w a legit suit against them they think patent suits are dumb and hurt the industry. Get off Apple’s dick. The iPhone is great but Apple as a company is corrupt.

        It’s articles like this that make it so easy to justify using installous and xsellize when the devs themselves don’t even want to pay for licenses.

      • goofygreek

        @Dane, In order to sell Chevy’s, you have to buy the license to sell them. So, if the brake manufacturer decides to sue someone, who they gonna sue, the people who bought the rights to the patent, or the dealers that just bought a license to sell the car? Same thing with Apple and the dev’s. If i buy a license to sell apps for apple, why should i have to buy the patents that apple already purchased. If im a dev for apple, then i should be free to use what patents are available from apple. Just like if im a chevy dealer, i should be able to sell chevy’s without having to go buy patents from 3rd party companies when i already purchased a license to sell chevy’s.

    • Jon Garrett

      +1

    • Night

      @Dane, my example works, because apple sell the Developers Kit, you have to pay Apple to develop programs for app store.

      How is it different form my example, you want something more similar. I bought the Chevy and work on it, new paint, new leather seats, diamond cup holders, and then sell it. I have to pay the patents all over again?

      Never forgetting the point that USA allows to patent an idea, it one of the most horrible things ever done, and wonder why non of the companies ever patented breathing…

      And I 100000% agree with you that Apple is a dick, and when they do the same as LODSYS about patents, but this does not make it right; LODSYS is attacking devs (starting with weak ones); and in all it defects, for once Apple try to do the right thing helping the devs

  • http://archinect.com Paul

    Want to know more about Lodsys its controversial parent company. Listen to this podcast:
    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

    These patent wars have the potential to destroy the software industry.

  • Brian

    @Dane I think you don’t understand what’s going on here. Lodsys made a patent, which Apple licensed later and then put that patented “technology” into their iOS SDK, Apple distritubes their SDK to devs, devs uses the SDK, along with the patented technology which, in turn, they didn’t knew it had a patent on. If anyone is responsible/guilty here it’s Apple, not the devs. Apple provided the SDK, devs just used it, they didn’t used a technology outside the SDK.

    The Apple vs Samsung thing is different, Apple created and Samsung copied, not Samsung’s devs, not Samsung’s designers, but Samsung.

  • ByteNapple

    Dane your completely wrong. You must be new to this blog or else you would notice that the readers at idb are not absent minded Apple lovers who wish they only had a brain. The readers hear for the most part are pretty well rounded as also are the journalists who write the articles we enjoy reading. In a country that supports freedom of speech there are many who angry angered by other’s opinions. But answer me this, would you want to live in a communist society where you have no freedom? If you read over the many comments from previous articles you will read comments and articles that are well rounded, from people who consider all of the facts and express the good and the bad. Sure you will find things you disagree with here and there but that is the beauty of freedom.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/21pLays Aleks

    It’s hard for me to understand why people feel the need to be angry and work so hard to fight and argue and bite at the ankles of such a powerfu and successful company. I can garantee more than half of the people below have never owned an Apple product besides maybe an iPod. In which case they should quit their yammering and expeirince Apple products first hand before they judge the devices and the company so harshly (and no, playing around for 10 minutes in an Apple store doesn’t count).
    So many people have come to hate Apple its turned into a trend. “Let’s hate on Apple, its what all the cool kids do!” People are just breeding hate and its pathetic.
    Stand back for a second. Ask yourself why you feel the need to tear down a company brimming with inovation and success. Sure Apple didn’t invent the smartphone, the MP3 player, the tablet, or even the computer. But you know what they did do? They popularized each and everyone of those devices. They single-handedly brought the personal computer that we know today into existence. Before Apple, people laughed at the idea of families owning a computer. Before Apple, smartphones were just for business people. Before Apple, tablets were just fancy gadgets you saw on CSI with no relevance to the consumer. That is why they are succesful, that is why Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Apple has popularized 4 major devices within the last 35 years. It wasn’t until AFTER Apple started the hype that other companies even considered producing smarphones and tablets on the scale they are sold today.
    So why tear them down with so harsly? Are you jealous? Were you just taught to hate them?
    (for the record I am an avid user of both Windows and OSX machines, but since I doubt my little speach has had any effect on the haters I will just sit back and watch as the hate mail arrives) -FrogsterDude