When an iPhone App Infringes a Patent


Courtesy of AppleHere’s something that we’re likely to see more of: the app patent dispute. Mobile apps are regularly mixed up in copyright or trade-mark complaints, trade secret disputes (occasionally), and privacy issues (often). In Lodsys LLC. V. Combay Inc. et al., an allegation of patent infringement has been levelled at a group of iPhone, iPad and Android app developers, including the publishers of the popular titles “Twitterific”, “Quickoffice” and “Mega Poker Online Texas Holdem”. According to the complaint, the targeted apps infringe a method patent owned by Lodsys, entitled “Methods and systems for gathering information from units of a commodity across a network” (US Patent #772,078). One defence to such an allegation is that the patent is licensed by the alleged infringer, and that’s where Apple comes in. Apple has reportedly intervened to raise the defence that the use by the app developers is covered by a license that Apple previously negotiated with the patent owner.  Another defence is that the patent in question is invalid and another company in an unrelated lawsuit is challenging the validity of Lodsys’s patent portfolio.

Calgary – 07:00 MT

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