Lodsys goes ahead with patent suits

Lodsys has delivered on its threat to sue iOS developers it believes is violating its patents, and has filed suit against seven companies.

After Apple claimed a week ago that the developers were covered by its own licenses, Lodsys says it’s had legal advice that this is not the case.

“We stand firm and restate our previous position that it is the third party developers that are responsible for the infringement of Lodsys’ patents and they are responsible for securing the rights for their applications,” the company says. 

“Developers relying on Apple’s letter do so to their own detriment and are strongly urged to review Apple’s own developer agreements to determine the true extent of Apple’s responsibilities to them.”

Lodsys says that Apple is in reality no more than an agent of the developer.

And it’s now filed suit against seven developers – Combay, Iconfactory, Illusion Labs, Shovelmate, Quickoffice, Wulven Games and Richard Shinderman. It did this yesterday, despite having promised developers 21 days to negotiate a license ‘in order to preserve its legal options’.

Lodsys is scathing about Apple’s promises to back developers, claiming that Apple has restricted the financial help it will offer them to just $50 each.

For its part, it says, it will give each developer that received the legal threat $1,000 if its claims are not upheld in court. And with the case being heard in the Eastern District of Texas, known for its sympathy with patent-holders, it clearly thinks its got a good chance.