In-App Purchase API Opens Vulnerability to Lawsuits

Number:rdar://9468235 Date Originated:2011/05/19
Status:Duplicate: 9459079 Resolved:Open
Product:iPhone SDK Product Version:all
Classification:Serious Bug Reproducible:always
Use of the system-provided In-App Purchase API opens developers to patent infringement lawsuits from patent troll Lodsys, who are demanding licensing fees above and beyond Appleā€™s 30% cut.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Ship an app that uses the In-App Purchase API
2. Wait to be contacted by Lodsys
3a. Pay Lodsys, and every patent troll that inevitably follows them
3b. Be sued out of existence

Expected Results:
Apple steps in using their nearly infinite financial and legal resources to protect their developer ecosystem, removing the threat of Lodsys, and ultimately pushing for reform of our broken patent system.

Actual Results:
Apple remains quiet, while their developer community privately and publicly freaks out.

Dozens of developers, including James Thomson and Apple Design Award winner Iconfactory, have already been targeted by Lodsys.

Some reassurance from Apple would be nice.


Please note: Reports posted here will not necessarily be seen by Apple. All problems should be submitted at before they are posted here. Please only post information for Radars that you have filed yourself, and please do not include Apple confidential information in your posts. Thank you!