Another week, another patent row. Apple developers sued as US company claims they hold the patents to in app purchasing sytem.
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Texas based Lodsys has issued several notices to developers in the UK and US claiming it holds exclusive patents rights on an in-app purchasing system on Apple iPhone iOS apps and demanding licences be purchased to use the system.
According to its website, it has licensed patents to 200 companies including Nokia, Apple, IBM and Google. The patents, created by Dan Abelow were sold to Lodsys in 2004 and although Steve Jobs’ Apple is listed as one of its licensees it is not clear if the giant has the rights to the patents in question.
Lodsys claims it owns the rights to four patents relating to in-app purchases, interactive online ads, online help and subscription renewals, reports The Guardian.
However, it is unclear as to whether Apple will cover the developers’ legal costs and act to defend the claims, although many believe it will.
The developers served notices include Patrick McCarron from New Jersey based developers MobileAge, and also makes apps for iPad and iPod Touch, who confirmed the notice via Twitter.
“Anyone else get a patent threat via FedEx for in-app purchase use in their iOS app? So far @jamesthomson and I got hit. ” McCarron wrote on Friday.
“I can now check off being threatened by a patent troll off my bucket list,” he added.
Another includes the Ohio based creator of the kids game MASH app, Matt Braun, from Magnate Interactive.
Several of the developers have already referred the notices to Apple since the apps were developed using its developer toolkit.
This is just the latest legal action taken by the patent company – earlier this year it filed suits against a litany of tech giants including Samsung, Brother, HP, Lenovo, Motorola and several others.