It’s been about nine days since seven small iOS app developers were sued by in-app purchasing patent holder, Lodsys. The threats from Lodsys came in early last month and even led Apple to issue a warning letter stating that it would back the app developers. Lodsys sued anyways and then came the wait to see if Apple would follow through. Now with WWDC 2011 over, Apple appears to be delivering on its promise today by filing a motion to intervene.
However, there is no guarantee that Apple’s motion to participate as an intervenor would be approved as Lodsys can oppose the motion. But Florian Mueller of Foss Patents believes that it’s highly likely that the motion will be granted. Apple states in the motion that the sued app developers are “individuals or small entities with far fewer resources than Apple and [...] lack the technical information, ability, and incentive to adequately protect Apple’s rights under its license agreement.”
Apple’s main defense against the Lodsys claims will focus just on the assertion that the alleged infringements are covered by an existing license agreement that also protects its app developers. The company is not raising any other defenses such as any attempts to invalidate the patents or that the patents don’t read on the accused products. And due to non-disclosure agreements, none of the app developers can comment on their relationship with Apple. It’s not known whether Apple would help cover their costs.