Earlier this month a company called Lodsys began sending letters to iOS app developers using Apple’s in-app billing system, asking each to license its technology separately. In a blog post on May 15th, Lodsys explained on its website that “the scope of [Apple's] current licenses does NOT enable [Apple] to provide ’pixie dust’ to bless another (third party) business applications.” On Monday Apple issued a response to Lodsys explaining that iOS developers are safe under its licensing program. “Apple is undisputedly licensed to these patents and the App Makers are protected by that license,” Bruce Sewell, Apple’s senior vice president and general counsel, said. “The technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers.” It sounds like developers that have received the notification letters can breathe easy knowing that Apple appears to be offering some support. Hit the jump for more from Sewell’s letter to Lodsys.
These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store. Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claims by Lodsys.