Apple granted permission to intervene in Lodsys lawsuits

Mon, Apr 16, 2012

Legal, News

Remember Lodsys, everyone’s favorite patent troll?

In 2011, a company named Lodsys began sending out letters to a number of iOS developers claiming that their apps infringed upon Lodsys’ patents. This of course created quite a stir in the iOS developer community and, by extension, creates quite a headache for Apple.

Consequently, Apple this past Summer filed a motion to intervene in the patent lawsuits Lodsys filed against a number of iOS developers. From Apple’s vantage point, because they are licensees to Lodsys’ patents, iOS developers, by extension, should be covered as well.

Lodsys, for its part, wasn’t keen on Apple intervening, noting that Apple’s only interest in the case is economic. Apple, meanwhile, contended that the issues at stake give rise to what it called a “sufficient property interest.”

Apple in its brief at the time wrote in part:

Apple’s License lies at the heart of this case, Lodsys has already sued numerous significant Apple customers and threatened dozens of others, and a boycott of some of Apple’s core products by App developers has been proposed.

In the interim, Lodsys has since upped the ante by going after bigger name development houses such as EA and Rovio.

In any event, FOSS Patents is reporting that Apple has finally been granted permission to intervene in the aforementioned legal disputes.

Apple has satisfied each of the four requirements for intervention as a matter of right under Rule 24(a)(2). The Court finds that permissive intervention is also appropriate under Rule 24(b). To avoid any potential prejudice to Lodsys rights under the License Agreement such intervention shall be and is hereby limited to the issues of license and patent exhaustion. Apples Motion to Intervene is GRANTED-IN-PART to the extent and as specified herein. Motions terminated: [4] MOTION to Intervene filed by Apple, Inc.. Signed by Judge Rodney Gilstrap on 4/12/12. (ehs, ) Modified on 4/12/2012 (ch, ).

Notably, some companies hit by Lodsys’ seemingly BS patent suits have already settled, realizing that getting into a protracted legal dispute with Lodsys would be the wrong business move to make.



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