updated 01:07 pm EDT, Thu August 8, 2013
Skips usual demand for patent licenses
Patent holding firm Lodsys has agreed to mutual charitable donations as settlement in its case against TMSOFT, a developer of various Mac and iOS apps. The person behind TMSOFT, Todd Moore, described the case as a "frivolous lawsuit" and notes that the case has been dismissed "with prejudice," preventing Lodsys from suing him again. He adds that he wasn't forced to sign a confidentiality agreement, but that he also isn't allowed to sue Lodsys, which could've been used to have courts rule the company's patents invalid.
Moore explains that he received pro bono aid from the Public Patent Foundation. Attorneys with the group estimate that without their help, the case could've cost TMSOFT $190,000 before trial. The company ultimately agreed to back down and go for the settlement once it became clear that TMSOFT was willing to fight what Moore calls an "extortion business model."
Since 2011, Lodsys has been either threatening or pursuing lawsuits against developers for taking advantage of the in-app purchase system linked to the iOS and Mac App Stores. Apple once said it would back developers, claiming that its own license with Lodsys covers third parties, but that hasn't stopped legal actions. Many developers have opted to pay for licenses instead of go to court, and in April Lodsys set its sights on higher-profile targets like Disney and Gameloft. In June, Angry Birds creator Rovio agreed to a license.