Calls company's decision to remain silent so far 'troubling'.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has called upon Apple to 'stand up and defend' iOS developers from patent infringement threats made by companies like Lodsys over their use of in-app payments.
Since the threats first emerged earlier this month, Apple has not made a public statement about them, although the company's lawyers are thought to be studying the threats (and Lodsys' patents on which they are based) intently. The EFF thinks this isn't good enough.
"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," writes staff attorney Julie Samuels.
She explains that while Apple has a licence for its in-app payments system, its developer agreement seemingly does not provide protection for developers using IAP against lawsuits for patent infringement.
"This is a problem that lawyers call a misallocation of burden," writes Samuels. "Here, absent protection from Apple, developers hoping to avoid a legal dispute must investigate each of the technologies that Apple provides to make sure none of them is patent-infringing. For many small developers, this requirement, combined with a 30 percent fee to Apple, is an unacceptable cost."
The EFF wants Apple to jump off the sidelines and take on Lodsys. "We hope that going forward companies like Apple will do what's right and stand up for their developers and help teach the patent trolls a lesson."