New MacBook Pros are here! Get the lowest prices anywhere: Apple Price Guides updated Aug 21st (exclusive coupons)
 


Monday, October 08, 2012, 07:47 pm PT (10:47 pm ET)

Lodsys reports momentum in licensing of in-app purchasing patent

A pair of blog postings to Lodsys Group's website on Monday offer a brief update regarding the company's ongoing patent licensing disputes against app makers over certain in-app purchasing inventions, and claim more developers are buckling to the firm's demands.

Lodsys, a non-practicing entity which has been asserting four patents it purchased from another so-called "patent troll" Intellectual Ventures against app makers, said that an increasing number of developers are licensing rights to its portfolio.

According to the blog post first discovered by MacRumors, over 150 companies "obtained the rights to use the Lodsys Group patent portfolio" as of Oct. 8, with "more than 4 out of 5 of these companies have entered into licenses outside of the litigation process."

"These companies have realized significant savings by taking advantage of lower licensing rates," the blog reads.

Lodsys first leveled its purchased patents against iOS developers in May 2011, sending legal complaints accusing the app makers of infringing upon technology related to in-app purchases. The firm followed up the original claims with number of subsequent filings, moving from small companies to large developers like Rovio and Electronic Arts. Many companies have given in to Lodsys' demands, as legal fees associated with patent litigation are usually more costly than settling out of court or licensing the technology outright.

Lodsys


A separate blog entry posted on Monday noted that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirmed on of its patent's key claims, effectively shooting down Google's attempt to have the property invalidated.

Also mentioned was the status of Apple's intervention:
The Court has allowed Apple to participate to try to make the case that their license rights for Apple products extends to the products of unrelated third party developers. […] The dispute about the scope of Apple's license rights extending to 3rd parties remains unresolved and clearly contested. This is irrespective of Apple’s unilateral declarations to the contrary and their insistence that the documents that underlie the issue remain shrouded in secrecy to prevent application developers and others from determining the scope of Apple’s license for themselves.

In June 2011, Apple filed a motion to intervene in the patent-holder's suit, claiming an agreement between itself and Lodsys protected iOS app developers by what is called patent exhaustion. The motion was granted in April, though the amount of time and resources Apple plans to dedicate to the litigation remains unclear.

Lodsys is confident that its patents will be validated through ongoing in-court proceedings which are "now swiftly moving forward," and a trial regarding the matter is scheduled for 2013.