If you haven’t heard of Uniloc before, it’s not surprising. This company holds patents on a numbers of software applications, but rarely do they make the public spotlight unless some other company is infringing on their ideas.
In 2003, Uniloc sued Microsoft and won, which was a feat unto itself. Since then, Uniloc has filed suit against several other software manufacturers for alleged patent violations, including several big names in the gaming world.
According to Eurogamer, Uniloc is currently filing suit against Markus "Notch" Persson and Minecraft for utilizing a “system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data.” The suit is specifically centered on the Android version of Minecraft (or “Mindcraft,” as Uniloc has misspelled in its lawsuit) and specifically references the game’s copy protection. Minecraft, like many games, contacts a central server for verification as a means of copy protection. This is apparently the technology that Uniloc has a patent on.
“But wait,” you may be thinking, “isn’t that sort of copy protection used by lots of games?” Well, you are correct, and that is why Uniloc’s lawsuit targets more than just Notch. They are also targeting EA for Bejeweled 2, Square Enix for Final Fantasy III, and Halfbrick for Fruit Ninja.
Notch, for one, does not approve. “Software patents are plain evil,” Notch said. “Innovation within software is basically free, and it's growing incredibly rapid… Patents only slow it down.”
By Angelo M. D'Argenio