It seems Apple has come to the aid of developers after all regarding the threats from Lodsys that Lodsys later attempted to defend (my rebuttal rapidly becoming the most-read thing Revert to Saved has ever run). A number of developers have now received documentation from Apple, including a letter to Mark Small, CEO of Lodsys. The short of it is summed up in the opening paragraph:

There is no basis for Lodsys’ infringement allegations against Apple’s App Makers. Apple intends to share this letter and the information set out herein with its App Makers and is fully prepared to defend Apple’s license rights.

Game, set and match, surely.

Actually, it’s a bit less tennis and rather more like a boxing match. The letter reads like Apple legal striding into the ring, landing hooks, uppercuts and other assorted punches squarely on Small’s face, until all that remains is a sad figure on the mat, wondering why he’d earlier tried picking on the little guys.

Apple believes Lodsys is talking crap in general, stating that it believes the Lodsys letters are

based on a fundamental misapprehension regarding Apple’s license and the way Apple’s products work

adding that the information provided should be

sufficient for [Lodsys] to withdraw [its] outstanding threats to the App Makers and cease and desist from any further threats to Apple’s customers and partners.

This information includes the key argument that under its license for the patents in the Lodsys portfolio, Apple is

entitled to offer these licensed products and services to its customers and business partners, who, in turn, have the right to use them. […]

Thus, the technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers. These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store. Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claim by Lodsys.

So, again, as with Apple’s Q&A on location data, Apple didn’t immediately calm fears, but it’s done the right thing after properly considering its position. Apple believes the law is on its side, is now clearly defending its developers, and the curt language of its communication is very much in the ‘don’t mess with us’ space; here’s hoping this keeps other trolls from peering out from under their bridges.

Update: Macworld now has the full text of the letter up, because their staff writer can type faster than I can, and it’s earlier in the day on the west coast of the US, so they’re probably all full of coffee, sunshine and bagels.