By Harry McCracken | Monday, May 23, 2011 at 3:18 pm
Last week, a company named Lodsys sent letters to a bunch of iOS developers saying their use of iOS features were violating its patents, and demanding royalty payments. Now Apple has sent a letter to Lodsys saying that the license Apple holds to the patents in question covers third-party developers as well. The story doesn’t end here–the companies which Lodsys is threatening still have to choose between coughing up money and facing protracted, expensive legal trouble-but Apple’s intervention is an encouraging development. I’d like to see Lodsys’s bid to collect royalties from users of Apple’s APIs fail decisively, if only so that other patent trolls don’t have an incentive to pull similar tricks on small developers.