Apple has sent a letter to Lodsys and it basically says that its developers are licensed to use the in-app purchasing technology and that the company should back off.
If you don’t recall, Lodsys has a few patents related to in-app purchases – specifically, upgrading from a free version to a full paid one – and it has been sending notices to individual developers to pay up for the license to use that technology. In a letter to Lodsys, Apple said that Lodsys is out of bounds with trying to collect on individual developers because the licenses it pays should cover the app makers.
… 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. 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.
Well, it is starting to look like Lodsys is a patent troll that was just trying to shake down small companies for more cash. We’ll have to see how it responds though, as the last response seemed relatively transparent.