updated 09:30 am EDT, Mon September 30, 2013
Ruling applies to cases already settled
An east Texas judge, Rodney Gilstrap, has issued a ruling blocking Apple from intervening on behalf of iOS app developers pursued by Lodsys, reports say. The order, handed down last Tuesday, also allows Lodsys to settle individually with each of the developers it has been leveling patent claims against. Apple has been seeking to intervene on behalf of developers for two years, arguing that it since it licensed patents (now owned by Lodsys) from Intellectual Ventures for in-app purchases, third-party developers are already protected.
Apple accuses Lodsys of threatening and/or suing developers in such a way as to force them to "quickly and cheaply" settle their cases, rather than face an expensive lawsuit. In circumstances where Apple might try to file a counterclaim, Lodsys is said to get a case stayed or dismissed to avoid the confrontation.
Gilstrap's ruling is based on the argument that while Apple's intervention motion might be valid for an active case, it technically applied to cases that have already been settled. Lodsys filed to dismiss the motion on that basis. It was suggested that Apple take on Lodsys directly, but the latter has previously said it recognizes Apple's patents; it simply doesn't acknowledge their application to third-party firms.