Lodsys filed what many are calling a frivolous, “patent troll” lawsuit against a number of smaller iOS developers last year, claiming that while Apple may have licensed its in-app purchase technology patents for iOS, individual developers have not, and should be held accountable for using it. Despite the fact that this seems patently absurd (pun intended), Lodsys claims that over 150 developers have licensed the technology for themselves, with the majority of them actually doing so “outside of the litigation process.” The exact charges of licensing the tech aren’t known, but it’s rumored to be around 2.5 percent of whatever revenues are earned with in-app purchases.
In other words, over 150 of the targeted developers have decided to pay licensing fees to Lodsys, rather than face the threats of legal action or further fines. Lodsys originally offered $1,000 to any developers it said had been wrongly targeted by the lawsuit, but of course that would be after costly court action due to the legal challenges. It’s possible that these developers simply decided it wasn’t worth the trouble fighting for their cause.
Apple promised to assist these developers in court, and tried to make the case that its own licensing payment covers third-party developers. But Lodsys says separately that the issue is still “unresolved and clearly contested.”
Lodsys seems dedicated to going after smaller developers who lack the huge legal or monetary resources that Apple itself can use, and thus can be more easily threatened into paying out licensing fees rather than face an expensive court battle.
Lodsys: 150 iOS developers give in to patent demands originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.