It looks like the recent patent claims by Lodsys over apps that use in-app purchasing is having an effect on app developers in an unexpected way. Updated
TUAW is reporting that App Store apps that use in-app purchasing have been locked out of the approval process in iTunes Connect, the tool that developers use for submission of apps.
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The freeze in effect seems to be the result of a test account that developers have to use to try out in-app purchasing before approval being down. With the account down, developers can’t complete the test and finish the approval process. It’s important to note that at this point it’s unclear whether the account is just down for maintenance or if there is something bigger going on here.
The freezing of the in-app purchase test account may be related to the patent lawsuit threats received by developers from IP company Lodsys. The threats of litigation are related to the use of in-app purchasing by many apps on the App Store, a feature that Lodsys claims to own the patent for.
This also comes on the heels of news that there is another company, Macrosolve, who is suing small developers outright for using online forms.
We have contacted Apple to see if this is an intentional disabling of the account to prevent new apps from being submitted to the store with in-app purchases enabled or if it is simply maintenance. We will update you if we get a response.
Updated: TUAW says that they have received word that the service is restored.
We’re hearing the issue may be resolved and the service restored. If you’re a developer who was affected by the account lock, try again and let us know what happens.