Use of In-App Purchase API opens vulnerability to lawsuits

Number:rdar://9459079 Date Originated:2011-05-1818-May-2011 11:21 AM
Status:Open Resolved:
Product:App Store Product Version:
Classification:Serious Bug Reproducible:Sometimes
18-May-2011 11:21 AM Mike Lee:

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 Apple'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.


Number Status Originator Product Title
rdar://9460462 Duplicate/9459079 pepi.zawodsky iOS SDK Unable to support in-app purchase at this time due to the threat of lawsuit.
rdar://9467699 Duplicate/9459079 hamish iPhoneSDK Unable to support in-app purchase at this time due to the threat of lawsuit.
rdar://9468235 Duplicate: 9459079 kiancheong iPhone SDK In-App Purchase API Opens Vulnerability to Lawsuits


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