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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Apple to Intervene in Smartphone App Suit

MARSHALL, Texas (CN) - Apple can intervene in a lawsuit that says smartphone application developers infringed on Lodsys technology, a federal judge ruled, filing a sealed order in a case over popular games like "Angry Birds."

The original complaint filed May 31, 2011, accuses seven application developers of infringing on two Lodsys patents.

Nine days later, Apple moved to intervene as a defendant and counterclaim plaintiff, saying that "Lodsys's allegations rest substantially or entirely on Apple products and services licensed under Apple's license, not on algorithms or content provided by the developers themselves."

Apple says it meets the requirements both for intervention as a matter of right and for permissive intervention.

"Apple has an interest in property that is at the center of this dispute, namely, its license to the patents in suit and its business with the developers, which depends on their use of products and services that Apple is expressly licensed under the patents in suit to offer them," according to the 21-page motion.

In the meantime, Lodsys amended its complaint to exclude original defendant Wulven Game Studios and pursue claims against Atari Interactive; Combay; Electronic Arts; Iconfactory; Illusion Labs AB; Michael Karr dba Shovelmate; Quickoffice; Rovio Mobile; Richard Shinderman; Square Enix; and Take-Two Interactive Software.

U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap partly granted Apple's motion in a sealed filing Thursday.

"Apple has satisfied each of the four requirements for intervention as a matter of right under Rule 24(a)(2)," according to a public docket entry. "The court finds that permissive intervention is also appropriate under Rule 24(b). To avoid any potential prejudice to Lodsys rights under the license agreement such intervention shall be and is hereby limited to the issues of license and patent exhaustion."

Lodsys says the infringing apps include the following: "Atari's Greatest Hits" for iPhone and iPad; "Mega Poker Online Texas Holdem" for iPhone; "The Sims 3" for iPhone; "Twitterific" for iPhone, iPad and Mac; "Labyrinth" for iPhone and Android; "69 Positions" for iPhone; "Quickoffice Connect" for iPhone; "Angry Birds" for iPhone and Android; "Hearts and Daggers" for iPhone; "Big Hit Baseball" for iPhone and iPad; and "2K Sports NHL 2K11" for iPhone.

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