Just as Apple is ending a long-term battle over smartphone patents, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has jumped into another. And this fight might also prove to be a long one.
Just as FOSS Patents blogger Florian Mueller suggested it should, Apple last week asked to intervene in the lawsuit Lodsys filed against independent application developers for using Lodsys technology in those apps without a license. According to TG Daily, Apple argues the developers are covered by the license fees it has already paid for the technology in question. From the filing:
The license expressly permits Apple to offer and otherwise make available to its developers' products and services that embody the inventions contained in the patents in suit.
The company argues that its own rights in the dispute will not be protected unless it is allowed to intervene as a defendant. The developers "lack the technical information, ability and resources" to do the job. Not to mention Apple's pockets are far deeper. In fact, without Apple's intervention, it's likely the developers would be unable to protect their own interests, let alone Apple's.
Whether Google will also step in or provide other coverage to help Android developers involved in the suit remains to be seen.