Apple rescues devs hit by patent intimidation

Apple rescues devs hit by patent intimidation

By Rob Crossley

May 24th 2011 at 11:49AM

iPhone firm demands a stop to legal threats against App Store devs

Apple has intervened in a new patent row between App Store developers and the mobile tools firm Lodsys.

The iPhone giant has demanded Lodsys “immediately cease its false assertions” that App Store devs are guilty of patent infringement.

Lodsys is said to be contacting a number of App Store developers, warning each that they are using the firm’s technology without a licence.

The company is legally threatening studios individually, and is believed to have not contacted Apple about the matter.

This led to a number of App Store developers to call on Apple for help; a request the Mac firm swiftly satisfied.

Bruce Sewell, Apple’s senior vice president and general counsel, has fired a strongly worded letter to the Lodsys management.

The full letter, which you can read here, challenges the assertion that App Store developers are using Lodsys’ tech without a licence.

“Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the Apple App makers are protected by that license,” the letter read.

Apple said the patent infringement threats are “based on a fundamental misapprehension regarding Apple’s license and the way Apple’s products work”.

“Therefore, Apple requests that Lodsys immediately withdraw all notice letters sent to Apple App Makers and cease its false assertions that the App Makers’ use of licensed Apple products and services in any way constitute infringement of any Lodsys patent.”

Lodsys has yet to respond to the claims, though the assumption should be it disagrees.