The in-app purchase scenario has been the focal point of a great deal of press and Internet discussion, given the popularity of Apple iOS and the large number of developers that have chosen to use the in-app purchase / freemium business model. As a part of the Inter-Parties Reexamination requested by Google, the USPTO recently issued an Office Action confirming Claim 24 of US Patent 7,222,078. This claim is particularly relevant regarding in-app purchases and free-to-paid application upgrades. In addition, we have every confidence that all claims will ultimately be confirmed through this lengthy process. In-app purchase features and free-to-paid upgrades will be a part of the litigation process that is now swiftly moving forward.

In that process, the Court has allowed Apple to participate to try to make the case that their license rights for Apple products extends to the products of unrelated third party developers. That issue has been consolidated with others that are the subject of litigation and they are scheduled for trial in 2013. The dispute about the scope of Apple's license rights extending to 3rd parties remains unresolved and clearly contested. This is irrespective of Apple’s unilateral declarations to the contrary and their insistence that the documents that underlie the issue remain shrouded in secrecy to prevent application developers and others from determining the scope of Apple’s license for themselves. 
 


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