updated 09:50 am EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Apple has necessary information, defendants say
Four major parties defending themselves against Lodsys' legal accusations are actively petitioning the court to accept Apple's intervention request. Game publishers Atari, Electronic Arts and Square-Enix were joined by Quickoffice in sending a letter to the court yesterday, urging it to grant Apple's motion. All four companies are being represented in the matter by the same lawfirm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The first three have yet to even be served their summons however, and state that they are stepping in early to "ensure that their voices are heard in connection with the pending motion to intervene."
"In view of the Supporting Defendants' critical need to rely upon Apple's assistance in developing the evidence in this matter, Apple's willingness to participate as a party in this action, and the lack of any cognizable prejudice to Lodsys, the Supporting Defendants respectfully urge this Court to grant the pending motion to intervene," the critical portion of the request letter reads. The document elaborates that an Apple license should protect app developers from Lodsys' patent claims, and that Apple has essential information, since it can naturally provide the details of the licensing.
Apple must be an intervenor and not just a third party, the letter continues. "For example, as a party in this action, Apple and its counsel would have access under this Court's protective order to all written discovery and testimony on the subject of the background and scope of its license, as well as the nature and operation of its own, licensed technology. Were Apple's participation in this action limited to that of a third-party, Lodsys would be able to insulate the testimony of Lodsys's documents and witnesses -- as well as the reports of Lodsys's experts -- from review, critique and response by Apple."
Still missing in the conflict with Lodsys is Google. While the number of Android developers targeted by Lodsys has been fewer than those working with iOS, Google should, like Apple, have the money and/or patents to protect developers. Some smaller developers have complained they might not be able to survive and pay the licensing fees Lodsys is demanding, much less the costs of defending themselves in court.