It’s not clear just how complicit Apple is in Digitude’s business, but EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels told TechCrunch that if Apple was deliberately aiding Digitude’s patent trolling, “it would be horrifying.” And even if Apple were somehow coerced into settling with Digitude, Samuels doubts that “Apple didn’t have any other options.”
As we noted recently, Apple has a tendency to use its intellectual property in ways that seem inconsistent. For instance, an Opera developer claims that Apple has a pattern of using patents to slow down the W3C’s open standards process, while promoting open standards when it gives Apple leverage against its competitors. This situation with Digitude seems similar; Apple opposes the tactics of patent trolls when they come after iOS developers, but seems to support them if it aids its ongoing legal battle for dominance of the smartphone market.
Disturbing to say the least!