While the letter Apple sent to Lodsys, and released publicly, is very encouraging in that Apple is trying to assert some pressure on Lodsys, there are some glaring holes that Apple did not address.
1) Apple's letter does not prevent Lodsys from suing an application developer. (And to be clear, Apple likely can NOT prevent Lodsys from doing whatever Lodsys wants to.) All Apple's letter does is basically argue that the actual infringement is done by Apple, and since Apple is already licensed, Lodsys should go away. (The letter's analysis is basically the same as outlined in my divided infringement analysis earlier.)
2) Apple did not publicly tell all application developers that they would indemnify the developers. This is what everyone needs, not just a well-written letter. Hopefully, Apple has made a private commitment to indemnify the threatened developers; although I personally have no knowledge of this.
Without the promise to fully indemnify application developers, the application developers still need to determine what might be their best course of action, as the threat of a lawsuit is still there. While some support from Apple is nice to see, their letter does not completely negate the legal consequences and risks posed by Lodsys to application developers. Hopefully, Lodsys chooses to take Apple's advice and tells the application developers that they are no longer threatened.
I have a detailed post about options and advice for developers in the works that I will be posting later today.
Definition - "Patent Troll"
"PATENT TROLL" - Any party that intentionally misconstrues the claims of their patent to assert it against another. A patent troll does not have to be a non-practicing entity (NPE) or in any particular industry, all that is required is an intentional misconstruing of the claims in an attempt to extort money from another.
Disclaimer - All information and postings in this blog are provided for educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice and you should not rely on any information herein as such. If you do not have a signed engagement agreement with me, then you are not represented by me and you should retain your own attorney for any legal issues you are having.