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?