iOS devs smacked with In-App Purchase patent suit warnings

Apple and Samsung may be playing out their own patent lawsuit battle, but the IP minefield has just gotten very real for independent iOS app developers too. A number of developers have reportedly been threatened with patent infringement for using Apple's own in-app purchasing system, Cult of Mac reports, targeting individuals rather than Apple itself.

Scientific calculator pCalc coder James Thomson – who uses in-app purchasing for those wanting to step up to the full version from the free pCalc Lite – was first to be hit with a warning. "Just got hit by very worrying threat of patent infringement lawsuit for using in-app purchase in PCalc Lite. Legal docs arrived via fedex" he reported on Twitter. "I've been told that I am infringing their patent, they want me to license it, and I have 21 days" he further explained.

Thomson would not name the company which has threatened to sue him, instead handing over all details to Apple's legal team. However, he was soon followed by fellow iOS dev Patrick McCarron, who also received a warning about patent infringement.

Thomson has frozen plans to release the latest version of pCalc – which ironically had just been approved by Apple – and is waiting on the Cupertino legal beavers to tell him what the next step will be.