iOS Developers Threatened of Being Sued Over In-App Purchase Patent Infringement

An interesting story covered by TiPb earlier today. Apparently, a couple iOS developers have received letters letting them know they were infringing a patent when using the in-app purchase feature in their application.

According to the documents they received, they have 21 days to either comply by paying a licensing fee, or remove in-app purchase from their application. Looks like someone is trying to scare off a few developers…

Tweets from James Thomson, developer of PCalc:

Just got hit by very worrying threat of patent infringement lawsuit for using in-app purchase in PCalc Lite. Legal docs arrived via fedex.

No idea what to do… They seem to be effectively claiming the rights to in-app purchase, but going after me, not Apple.

Talking to Apple now, may go quiet on this for the short term until I know what’s happening.

So, have talked to Apple contact – currently scanning everything in to send. Sorry folks, no PCalc 2.4 happening today.

To be clear, I haven’t been sued yet – I’ve been told that I am infringing their patent, they want me to license it, and I have 21 days.

It’s still very unclear who wants to sue who, and on what grounds, as apparently, in-app purchase is Apple’s feature, not the developers’.

I’m sure Apple lawyers will be looking into this right away and clear up the air.