Lodsys, LLC is a “non-practicing entity.” It makes no products. Its business model is structured to earn revenue by enforcing patents against operating companies which Lodsys contends infringe upon its patents. It is enforcing a group of four patents against Apple iOS app developers. Lodsys says the claims “are directed to systems and methods for providers of products and/or services to interact with users of those products and services to gather information from those users and transmit that information to the provider.”
Lodsys has sued a number of large companies, including Adidas and Best Buy, for patent infringement. It appears that Lodsys has been sending information packages to individual developers. This package includes a patent infringement charge giving developers 21 days to respond to Lodsys’ demand that the recipient take a revenue-bearing license.
New developments in this situation continue to unfold. On May 23, 2011, Bruce Sewell, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of Apple, sent a letter to the CEO of Lodsys, LLC. Sewell wrote, “Apple requests that Lodsys immediately withdraw all notice letters sent to Apple App Makers and cease its false assertions that the App Makers’ use of licensed Apple products and services in any way constitute infringement of any Lodsys patent.”
Consultation with counsel can help a developer that has received an infringement charge to make informed business decisions regarding its position and to avoid undue harm to its business.