Apple dealt setback in fight against patent troll Lodsys
Back in 2011, Apple stepped up to protect iOS developers victimized by patent troll Lodsys, which asked for royalties from those utilizing in-app purchasing technology. Ars Technica reports that after two years of debate, the judge presiding over the case dismissed Apple's case to protect developers. Apple's argument was that it already paid to license Lodsys patents under their previous owner, Intellectual Ventures, and that arrangement should cover developers who used Apple APIs to implement in-app purchases.
Apple's claims in the case were dismissed because the group of iOS developers in question had already settled with Lodsys. The patent troll hadn't asked for an enormous amount of money to begin with, making the decision to settle an easy call when faced with the prospect of costly litigation. The end result, however, was that the companies Apple was helping were no longer participants in the litigation, rendering its arguments irrelevant to the case at hand. As a result, Lodsys filed a motion to dismiss Apple's claims, and the court agreed. However, Apple could still raise this argument at a later date, in a different case.
Apple could still raise this argument at a later date
Meanwhile, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia recently filed a complaint in a Wisconsin federal court against Lodsys, which had asked Stewart's company to pay $20,000 in connection with four magazine apps. MSLO filed a civil action suit to affirm that none of its magazines infringe upon Lodsys patents, which will cost both parties more money than it would have to simply pay Lodsys its "licensing" fee as the company had asked. But sometimes, you can't put a price on taking down a bully.