Lodsys Patent infringement suit – Developers bite back and Apple steps back into the ring.
June 14, 2011
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Lodsys, the company pursuing Apple and Android developers in a very widely reported patent infringement suit, increased the amount of companies they were chasing last week to include Adidas, Best buy, Black and Decker and several others. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise as they havent been seen to be backing down against the might of Apple so far.
However, in a bit of a retaliatory gesture last week, a company named Forsee Results who list Adidas and Best Buy as clients have filed a declaratory judgement suit against Lodsys. At the tail end of the week, ESET, a provider of antivirus software also filed a declaratory judgement suit in the California Courts. All the firms are refuting Lodsys’s claims and seeking a declaration that it does not infringe on Lodsys’s patents. Now this week OpinionLab a New York Times company filed similar suits in the US District Court of Illinois.
Effectively, these firms are making an attempt to get the courts to make a decision on who is right in this Patent suit. I believe (but don’t quote me on it), that a declaratory judgement can only be filed between when a firm intends to sue and sends a letter of intent to do so and them actually taking action.
Apple steps back into the Ring
In a bid to protect it’s own revenue stream and to protect it’s developers (yes probably in that order of priority) Apple has now filed a request to intervene in the patent infringement suit when it filed a 21 page request to be allowed to step in between Lodsys and the developers since it is the licence holder. Lodsys has not yet replied in regard to Apples Filing not has any court indicated it will honor Apples request.
Personally I think if Lodsys had stuck to small developers, they may have squeezed their lunch money out of them, going for the bigger boys with bigger legal departments plus the backing of Apple may be the undoing of this case.
Time will tell….