Apple’s letter to Lodsys last week didn’t help:
For the app developers who have been sued, this is now a very critical situation. As I explained in my Lodsys FAQ, patent litigation in the United States is extremely costly. The most important thing for those app developers is to clarify with Apple — and to the extent that Android apps are involved, with Google — whether they will be held harmless and receive blanket coverage including possible damage awards.
Notably, the targets include Iconfactory and Quickoffice.
I stand by my position that the best thing to do when threatened with patent litigation is to consult with a lawyer and be prepared to just pay the troll. A lawsuit is far more expensive.
Now these developers need to spend significant time, money, and stress on a lawsuit that they’ll probably “lose” by settling as quickly as possible — the longer it takes, the more they’re likely to lose — rather than making their products better and creating value in the world.
I’ll leave it up to smarter people in these areas to discuss whether Apple can and will cover anyone’s legal costs and possible damages. My best guess is that they won’t. If they do, great. But it would be foolish to make any legal decisions based on the assumption that they will.