updated 07:25 pm EDT, Wed July 27, 2011
Lodsys tries to stop Apple intervention in case
Lodsys hoped to reduce resistance to its lawsuit on Wednesday and filed an opposition to Apple's motion to intervene. The 22-page reply, some of which is redacted for public viewing to protect confidential info, maintains that Apple's licensing of Lodsys patents would limit its scope for acting on behalf of others. It goes on to claim that Apple's reason to fight back is "purely economic" at most and that the reduced profits or losses for third-party developers didn't meet the legal threshold for stepping into the case.
The opposition also may have betrayed an attempt to nullify a specific Apple argument as the real reason behind Lodsys' decision to sue bigger game developers like Atari and Rovio. Apple can no longer argue for an intervention due to the "limited resources" of developers that can't fight back, Lodsys says, as the bigger game houses can mount their own defense.
Even some of those in the original complaint, like Illusion Labs, have millions of dollars of revenue, Lodsys insists.
Apple supposedly was also trying to "hide the ball" since it refused to show the full license agreement to Lodsys' attorneys. The license was originally negotiated when Intellectual Ventures had the patents in dispute and might legally bind Apple to keeping the terms secret unless forced, even to the new owner of the patents.
Including in the new opposition, much of the debate in Lodsys' lawsuit has been over whether or not Apple's license and developer terms automatically extend to shield developers from lawsuits for using technology, even when Apple provided that technology. Apple contends that its license inherently protects developers since they're simply using its tool kit. Lodsys believes the license is limited to Apple itself and wants to charge twice, first for Apple's base technology and again for developers that use it.
Apple will have an option to respond and justify its motion, which has already been altered to keep up to date.
Lodsys has to face its own defense in the near future as it faces declaratory judgment attempts against the patents it's using to attack others. If the judgments work in the favor of those firms, it may have to scale back or drop its lawsuits against Android and iOS developers. [via Florian Mueller]