Nearly a year after Apple filed a motion to intervene on behalf of numerous iOS developers in a patent case with Lodsys, a federal judge on Thursday gave Apple the go-ahead to get involved. The decision gives the Cupertino-based company freedom to participate in the proceedings if it so chooses, as long as Apple is “limited to the issues of license and patent exhaustion,” FOSSPatents said.
Last May, Lodsys, a Texas-based software patent-holder, threatened legal action against numerous iOS developers claiming patent infringement regarding in-app purchases. Apple attempted to address the issue by sending a letter to the Texas company, but Lodsys filed a suit anyway.
In defense of developers, Apple cited “patent exhaustion” and claimed it created its own in-app purchasing APIs using technology licensed from Intellectual Ventures, which by extension covers iOS developers.
Apple’s motion to intervene was filed last June, but has since sat in limbo as the judge originally assigned to the case stepped down. The new judge, Judge Rodney Gilstrap, found that Apple should be allowed to give evidence of its patent exhaustion argument, ArsTechnica said, which is how everything stands today.
In addition to smaller names, Lodsys is going after companies such as Atari, EA and Rovio; the Texas company has also sought legal action against Android app makers for infringement on the same patent.
It’s unknown how Apple will choose to get involved, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the iPhone maker throw its considerable weight around to see this issue resolved in developers’ favor. We’ll definitely keep our eyes and ears out for anymore information on this one.