Apple backs iOS developers against 'patent troll'

Says firm is already licensed so third-parties are too
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Apple has come to the defence of the firm's army of app developers following patent claims launched by a company demanding a cut of app sales revenue.

Patent holder Lodsys fired a torrent of legal threats against individual iOS developers alleging infringement of a patent and demanding half a per cent of software sales despite Apple already being a licence holder.

The action against Apple's third party developers comes after the firm went after Brother, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Samsung Electronics earlier this month, alleging infringement of a 'Customer-Based Design Module' patent.

The patent relating to Apple is patent 7222078, purchased by Lodsys in 2003, describing 'systems for gathering information from units of a commodity across a network'.

Just ten days later Apple senior veep and legal councel Bruce Sewell wrote to Lodsys, saying that Apple app developers were covered by Apple's existing licence and urging Lodsys to "withdraw your outstanding threats to the App Makers and cease and desist from any further threats to Apple’s customers and partners."

Apple developers greeted the news with relief with PCalc developer James Thomson tweeting: 'Our long international nightmare is over.'

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