The Electronic Frontiers Foundation has urged Apple to defend iOS applications developers from Lodsys which recently sent demand letters to developers to either pay to license one of its patented technologies or go to court.
In a post at the EFF site titled “Apple Should Stand Up and Defend its Developers”, EFF’s Julie Samuels wrote that the digital rights group has been “waiting expectantly for Apple to step up and protect the app developers accused of patent infringement”.
“Apple’s failure to defend these developers is troubling and highlights at least two larger problems: patent trolls and developers’ vulnerability when harassing and counter-productive patent litigation comes around,” she added.
Calling Texas-based Lodsys a “troll whose sole business model is owning and suing on patents”, the EFF said that “suing app developers – who often lack the resources required to defend a lawsuit – is a trend we’re seeing more and more often.”
The group says that Apple should defend app developers because it is the company which provides the technology allegedly being infringed upon by app developers and requires that they use it.
“This is a problem that lawyers call a misallocation of burden,” the post says. App developers “would expect (with good reason) that Apple wouldn’t provide technologies in its App Store that open its developers up to liability – and/or would at least agree to defend them when a troll like Lodsys comes along.”