Back on June 9th of last year, Apple filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit between various iOS app developers and a company called Lodsys which is being portrayed as a patent troll. Lodsys is a non-practicing entity which means that its only business is taking people to court to try to win patent infringement suits and licensing patents from its portfolio. The only problem is that this courtroom bully might have met its match in Apple as the Cupertino based company claims it has a license for the patents in question
and as a result, the developers are licensed by extension. This legal concept is called patent exhaustion.
The original case filed in the Eastern District of Texas, involved Lodsys against small app developers. But the complaint was later amended to include larger companies including Rovio
, developer of the wildly popular Angry Birds games. After Apple filed its motion last June, Lodsys filed a motion the next month laying out its arguments why Apple should not be allowed to throw its 2 cents in. The next month, Apple filed another motion saying that they really, really want to be involved.
Today, the word came from the court. Apple is indeed allowed to intervene in the case, but on a limited basis. The court's ruling reads as, "Apple is permitted to intervene in this suit, but such intervention is
limited to the issues of patent exhaustion and licensing