Ars Technica is reporting that a judge has denied Apple’s request to intervene in Lodsys’ current patent disputes against app developers. Apple originally filed a motion to step in to the case in June, 2011. However, the judge has disregarded Apple’s statements saying that it is out of the scope of the active trial in an order dated September 24th.
Apple continues to oppose the alleged patent infringements, saying that their license covers third-party developers to use their technology. The contention in the current ruling was a debate of scope. Apple was insisting that its motion was on behalf of all iOS developers, not just the seven developers in the current cases.
A claim covering six million unnamed app developers is far outside the scope of the instant action. Thus, even assuming that all the named defendants had not been dismissed from the case and Apple’s claim proceeded to trial, any judgment subsequently rendered would be limited in scope to those named defendants, and not, as Apple urges, apply to all Apple developers.
In this ruling, the judge has decided that Apple’s wording (through the interchangeable use of “developers” and “defendants”) is related to the current cases only.
As such, because Lodsys has already settled or dismissed these cases in the interim, the judge said that “a live controversy no longer exists” as Apple’s motion currently applies to zero active cases. Therefore, Apple’s counterclaim has been “dismissed as moot”. The judge has suggested that Apple could follow up by suing Lodsys directly.
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