Mobile tools 'bully' ignores Apple warning

Mobile tools 'bully' ignores Apple warning

By Rob Crossley

June 1st 2011 at 3:20PM

Lodsys denies claim that its licence threats are meritless

Mobile tools firm Lodsys has fired back at Apple over an increasingly protracted licensing row.

Lodsys doesn’t agree its legal threats against mobile developers are without merit, as Apple had claimed.

In May, a licensing row broke out between Lodsys and a number of App Store developers. Many were accused of using Lodsys’ tech without purchasing a license. 

Upon hearing calls from a number of developers, Apple intervened and demanded Lodsys “immediately cease its false assertions” that App Store devs are guilty of infringement.

In an open letter, Apple chief lawyer Bruce Sewell told Lodsys that “Apple is undisputedly licensed to Lodsys patents and the Apple App makers are protected by that license”.

Lodsys has responded with an open letter of its own, which stated that “unfortunately for Developers, Apple’s claim of infallibility has no discernable basis in law or fact”.

Lodsys said Apple’s open letter “was very surprising as Apple and Lodsys were in confidential discussions and there was clearly disagreement on the interpretation of the license terms of Apple’s agreement”.

Lodsys has consulted several legal experts to consider Apple’s claims, the company said.

“We stand firm and restate our previous position that it is the third-party developers that are responsible for the infringement of Lodsys’ patents and they are responsible for securing the rights for their applications,” it added.

“Developers relying on Apple’s letter do so to their own detriment and are strongly urged to review Apple’s own developer agreements to determine the true extent of Apple’s responsibilities to them.”

Lodsys claims to have also sent to Apple, in writing, its own legal interpretation of its licence.

“Apple has our permission to publish that letter, in its entirety, should developers wish to review our dispute and evaluate the risks with their own counsel,” Lodsys added.

“While we have nothing to hide, we cannot unilaterally publish the letter because it refers to information that was obtained with an obligation of confidentiality to Apple and we do not have their permission to do so.”

Lodsys has been contacting a number of App Store developers, warning each that they are using the firm’s technology without a licence.