Uniloc files patent infringement suit against Mojang

By Stephany Nunneley, Saturday, 21 July 2012 20:07 GMT

Uniloc has filed a patent infringement suit against Mojang for Minecraft, in which the firm claims the Android version of Mindcraft (sic) uses claim 107 of patent #6,857,067 without its expressed permission.

The patent description is for a: “system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data [covering] executable computer code on an electronic device to prevent unauthorized access to electronic data stored on the electronic device.”

Notch, who brought this to the internet’s attention via Twitter, said the firm is suing Mojang over a “software patent,” to which he will “throw piles of money at making sure they don’t get a cent.”

“Software patents are plain evil. Innovation within software is basically free, and it’s growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down,” he said.

Uniloc’s filing asks for damages which include pre and post-judgment interest, and ongoing royalties on top of it.

Mojang isn’t the only firm Uniloc is suing. According to a list complied on Reddit, the firm is also suing Halfbrick (Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride), Gameloft, Square Enix, Laminar Research (X-Plane) and Electronic Arts.

Last year, the firm filed a suit against Activision, ASPYR, McAfee, Quark, and Sony for violating claim 216 of patent #5,490,216, “System for Software Registration.”

The firm also took Microsoft to court in 2003 over claims the software giant infringed on its patent for a software activation key which keep users from installing licensed software on more than one computer.

After six years and numerous courtrooms across the states, a $388 million judgment against Microsoft was handed down in 2009; however, a Rhode Island judge overturned the verdict later that year, after evidence presented during an appeal showed Microsoft did not infringe on Uniloc’s patent.

Thanks: Joystiq, GamePolitics, Reddit.


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