Apple Motion Ignored after Lodsys Patent Troll Settlements
Since 2011, patent troll Lodsys has been shaking down small iOS developers over patents. Apple attempted to intervene, arguing in a 2011 motion that it had already licensed the patents in question and developers were covered under Apple’s license. However, U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has now dismissed Apple’s motion because the defendants in the case have all settled. Help us, Martha Stewart, you are our only hope. Unless, that is, Apple were to go on the offensive, as Gilstrap suggests: “Nothing about the Court’s decision prevents Apple from filing an original declaratory judgment action, in a venue of its choosing, whereby each named developer and patent holder have an opportunity to defend themselves in open court.”
The Ars article represents a misunderstanding of the legal situation. IANAL, but I have some understanding of "intervenors" (don't ask why, it's an unhappy place.) Apple was applying to intervene on the behalf of some app developers. But those developers previously signed settlements with Lodsys. The court ruled that, since the app developers had already settled, -Apple had no standing to intervene-.
All it takes is for Lodsys to sue a new app developer, for that developer to not settle, and then Apple will have standing to apply to intervene.
Yes, although Apple is saying that the Lodsys technique of suing and then settling quickly makes it difficult or impossible to intervene. It's possible that the Martha Stewart case would be a good one, since she seems unlikely to settle.
Or, as I've now edited the piece, Apple could sue Lodsys directly, as the judge suggests.