Not happy with merely going after app developers who offer in-app purchase in their iOS apps, Lodsys is now sending out infringement letters to developers who cross-promote apps. Developer EpicForce received an infringement notice from Lodsys over its iFighter 1945 game, which offers users the option of purchasing another EpicForce game, Super Laser: The Alien Fighter, from within the app.
Many App Store developers engage in this kind of cross-promotion within their apps, including big names like PopCap (recently acquired by even bigger name EA). Lodsys is now asserting that its patent on in-app purchases applies to these cross-promotions as well, which could indicate that this "patent litigation factory" is looking at expanding the scope of its lawsuits against app developers.
EpicForce emailed Lodsys to attempt to dissuade the company from its lawsuit, but Lodsys is adamant that app cross-promotion falls under the rubric of its patent. Lodsys's full letter to EpicForce is printed below.
Apple has recently made motions to intervene in the dispute, and for the sake of the App Store's livelihood, let's hope the intervention is successful. Lodsys may assert that it's merely trying to "protect its rights," but what it's really doing is threatening the entire development environment for iOS devices.