iOS Developers Sued for Apple In-App Purchase System
Several iOS developers were slapped with a patent infringement complaint this week. They were not being sued yet but they were informed that they have 21 days to license technology related to in-app purchases or face a lawsuit.
The complaints came from patent holder Lodsys and are related to U.S. Patent No. 7222078, which is entitled Methods and Systems for Gathering Information from Units of a Commodity Across a Network. The patent was filed in December 2003 but documentations dates back as early as 1992.
The technology is credited to a certain Dam Abelow but his portfolio of patents was sold to Lodsys in 2004. It is Lodsys who filed the complaints against the iOS app developers. There is no evidence that Apple also received a letter from the patent holding firm. Apple controls the App Store for iOS devices as well as the in-app purchasing system that’s being contested.
In-app purchases were introduced by Apple in 2009 with the release of the iOS 3.0 for the iPhone. The feature was first restricted to paid apps but Apple made it available for free aps as well. That way they can charge for additional contents and add-ons. Apple takes 30 percent of all transactions in the App Store.