updated 01:32 pm EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
Apple's intervention efforts unknown
Patent holder Lodsys had added Disney to the list of companies it is pursuing with lawsuits over in-app purchases, reports say. In a new court filing, Where's My Water? and other unspecified Disney apps are said to violate Lodsys' '565 and '078 US patents. "Prior to filing this complaint, Lodsys informed Disney of the patents-in-suit and offered to enter into a licensing arrangement that would allow Disney to continue practicing the inventions claimed in patents-in-suit," the filing continues. "Disney, however, chose not to enter into a licensing agreement. Instead, with knowledge of the patents-in-suit and disregard for Lodsys' patent rights, Disney chose to continue its infringement."
In the past several days Lodsys has in fact filed suit against nine other developers as well, such as Gameloft and Backflip Studios. Another is TLA Systems, one of the first developers to be threatened with Lodsys legal action almost two years ago. Over the past several months a number of non-developers have been hit with lawsuits as well, including SanDisk, Volkswagen, Crocs, General Motors, and HP.
Uncertain at the moment is the state of Apple's intervention on behalf of developers. While Apple was given permission to help in April 2012, the company has stayed silent since then. In some cases intervention may be absolutely essential, since smaller developers may not have the cash needed to fight Lodsys in court, or even to pay the royalties Lodsys is demanding.