Apple Steps In To Crush Patent Troll

Steve JobsI will crush you between my fingers, troll.

Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider

Apple has filed to intervene in the lawsuits filed by patent troll Lodsys against iOS developers.If the court accepts Apple’s request, then Lodsys is no longer just challenging a bunch of small developers, but will have to fight Apple’s formidable legal team and storehouse of patents.

Lodsys began sending threatening letters to iOS developers a couple months ago, ordering them to take a licence for a patent that Lodsys bought from Intellectual Ventures (the big patent-holding company founded by ex-Microsoft technical leader and current cookbook fanatic Nathan Myhrvold). Apple had already taken a licence for the patents in question, but Lodsys claims this doesn’t cover iOS developers.

Apple chief counsel Bruce Sewell disagreed and told Lodsys to back off, but the troll pushed forward with even more aggression, filing a bunch of lawsuits and offering $1,000 to each iOS developer it contacted if in fact Apple turns out to be right.

The court will probably accept Apple’s request, according to intellectual property and patent analyst Florian Mueller. Then, Apple might offer a settlement to make the whole issue go away, or may take Lodsys to the mat as a warning to future trolls.

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