With all the smartphone hardware lawsuits currently clogging court systems around the world, it was only a matter of time before someone got the bright idea to sue applications and games makers over software patents. Now Luxembourg-based Uniloc has it out for a host of Android developers over claims to a patent for a “system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data.” Most vocal about the threat of legal action is Mojang’s Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft, but Uniloc is also going after Halfbrick Studios, Gameloft, EA, Square Enix, and Laminar Research.
The patent in question involves a system for pinging a server to check that a user holds an authorized license to use downloaded software before launching a game, a security method implemented by many more developers than the ones listed above. Persson took to his Twitter account in defense of his hard work, stating in so many words that Mojang would not go down without a fight, spending as much money as necessary to insure that Uniloc is not rewarded with a victory in this case.
To add insult to injury, in filing the suit Uniloc mistakenly refers to Minecraft as “Mindcraft,” which can be seen in the full text of the filing as posted online by Persson. It remains to be seen if Uniloc’s case has any real legs, but given the group they are going up against, we don’t expect any of the alleged infringers to simply roll over and pay a settlement.