You may recall the events which unfolded over a week ago, when a company by the name of Lodsys went after developers in the App Store who offered in-app transactions in their application by using a mechanism provided by Apple. Lodsys's demands were a 0.575% royalty for any application that allows for purchasable upgrades or addons, or at least just those they sent patent infringement notices to via FedEx. Barring that, legal action would be taken against these small developers. The developers were not amused that they were getting chased after for using technology that isn't even theirs.
Fortunately, Apple agrees. In a letter spotted by The Register earlier today, Apple claims they have licensed the patents in question from Lodsys, and the license covers its App Store developers as well. We assume a small fraction of the 30% royalty Apple takes from each sale in the App Store goes towards said licenses. Thus, as Apple's senior vice-president and general counsel Bruce Sewell charges in a letter to Lodsys, Apple "is undisputedly licensed to these [patents] and the Apple App Makers are protected by that license." The letter, which is reproduced below, demands Lodsys to drop all forms of litigation against App Store developers regarding this particular case.
Lodsys continues to dispute these claims, claiming on their blog (which appeared to be setup only recently to explain their claims) that Apple's licenses do not provide "pixie dust" to "bless third party applications."
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