Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Some iOS developers find themselves in legal hot water with a company called Lodsys, which says iOS's in-app purchasing feature infringes on patents that it holds. In this case, though, Apple says that it has developers' collective backs.
In May, several developers received letters from Lodsys alleging that using an in-app purchasing mechanism in their apps infringes on four patents covering online help, subscription renewals, in-app purchasing, and interactive online advertisements.
Apple gave third-party developers the ability to build in-app purchases into their apps in 2009's iOS 3 update. And in a letter to Lodsys, Apple contends that its existing license for patents covering in-app purchases applies to iOS app makers, too. (You can read the letter at macworld.com/7276.) "There is no basis for Lodsys' infringement allegation against Apple's App Makers," Apple's senior vice president and general counsel, Bruce Sewell, says in the letter. Lodsys responded by filing suit against seven developers, alleging patent infringement.
After the latest legal maneuver by Lodsys, the next move belongs to developers and Apple. It's no overstatement to say that what happens next could impact iOS development for a very long time.
BY LEX FRIEOMAN
Friedman, Lex. "Apple backing app makers in legal fight over patents." Macworld Aug. 2011: 24. Gale Power Search. Web. 27 July 2011.
Gale Document Number: GALE|A261319646