One seedy aspect of doing business in the digital age is the rise of the patent troll. Large companies unfortunately encourage patent trolling by paying licensing fees to these trolls because it is far easier to throw money at the situation to make it go away rather than stand on principle and enter into a long lititigation process.
One such troll is Lodsys, who were granted business process patents on a number of obvious things, including in-app purchasing. Apple paid licensing fee hush-money to Lodsys, but Lodsys started going after individual iOS developers, claiming that Apple’s license did not extend to those developers. When this story originally broke , Apple was initially silent, but it appears they were just polishing up their guns, as yesterday they fired off a strongly-worded letter to Lodsys , asserting that Apple’s license extends to its iOS developers and is prepared to defend that in court.
Hopefully this will give Lodsys pause to slink back to the swamp from which they came and stop harassing developers. I’m glad Apple stood up for the people who have enabled it to make oodles of money over the past years.