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Lodsys opposes Apple's motion to intervene in app lawsuit

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]

Lodsys Opposition to Apple Motion to Intervene



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    +6

    Lodsys is Intellectual Ventures

    Intellectual Ventures controls thousands of shell companies like Lodsys. IV "sell" their patents to these firms and then have these firms sue.

    Maybe its time for Lodsys to show themselves and stop hiding behind their shell company. Who owns them? What part of their patent portfolio does IV still have a financial interest in.

    I'd like Congress to appoint someone to go through all software patents and then eliminate the ones that have multiple patents on the same thing. Patents are suppose to be "non-obvious". If a dozen people patent the same thing, it must mean that the idea behind invention wasn't very obscure.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +3

    What good is such a license...

    to Apple if they can't have their developers use it?

    Lodsys sounds like a load of c---. Troll doesn't adequately describe these companies. How detailed are these patents. Do they actually show a real method that works? The old expression, "more than one way to skin a cat," should be looked at.

  1. jscotta

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2002

    +5

    "purely economic"

    As though Lodsys's actions are not purely economic!

  1. Inkling

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006

    +1

    Lodsys' strange argument

    Imagine someone invents and patents a better hammer and Apple Tool Co. obtains a license to seell the tool. That's essentially what Apple has done with their developer tools. Then imagine the owner of that hammer patent suing hundreds of construction companies and carpenters for using Apple Tool's hammer in their business. That's essentially what Locksys is doing and perhaps why they don't want Apple in this lawsuit.

    In addition, they seem to be arguing that Apple's original license from IV doesn't invalidate their lawsuit against developers, although they don't know the hidden terms of that license.

    Finally, when Lodsys bought this patent from IV, it should have insisted on acquiring copies of all the contracts relevant to what it'd purchased. Lodsys isn't just a patent troll. They seem to be a rather stupid one.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: What good is such a license...

    to Apple if they can't have their developers use it?

    It allows Apple to use it, duh.

    if Apple were really concerned at the time about developers, they should have made sure their license covered developers, right.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: Lodsys' strange argument

    Imagine someone invents and patents a better hammer and Apple Tool Co. obtains a license to seell the tool. That's essentially what Apple has done with their developer tools. Then imagine the owner of that hammer patent suing hundreds of construction companies and carpenters for using Apple Tool's hammer in their business. That's essentially what Locksys is doing and perhaps why they don't want Apple in this lawsuit.

    It depends on the license. You're making the assumption that Apple licensed to sell or let use the license to other users.

    Apple's license may only apply to apple's products (be they iOS apps or the iOS itself). Lodsys is contending it does. So Apple may have licensed that hammer to build their shop, but that doesn't give company B the right to use the hammer to build products that they are selling in Apple's shop.

    And they might not want Apple in the lawsuit because, I don't know, Apple isn't involved in the suit. Should Samsung get into the suit as well, because they supply the memory to the devices that use the OS that runs the apps that violate the patent?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -1

    Re: Lodsys' strange argument

    In addition, they seem to be arguing that Apple's original license from IV doesn't invalidate their lawsuit against developers, although they don't know the hidden terms of that license.

    And Apple may be bluffing that section iV says "It covers developers" hoping they can scare lodsys out of suing and not have to reveal it and show it really doesn't cover that.

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