Uniloc is suing Mojang for patent infringement for a “System And Method For Preventing Unauthorized Access To Electronic Data”. Allegations include, but aren’t limited to, Minecraft incorrectly identified as “Mindcraft” — for his part, Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson is approaching the issue with his usual outspoken nature.
“Step 1: Wake up. Step 2: Check email. Step 3: See we’re being sued for patent infringement. Step 4: Smile,” Persson tweeted. “If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don’t get a cent,” he continued. “Software patents are just plain evil. Innovation within software is basically free, and it’s growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down.”
“I am fine with the concept of ‘owning stuff’, so I’m against theft . . . I am mostly fine with the concept of ‘selling stuff you made’, so I’m also against copyright infringement . . . But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas,” Persson wrote later. “Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.”
Persson said that patents make sense in areas of science and medicine, but he called patents for software “counterproductive” among other descriptors.
“A common argument for patents is that inventors won’t invent unless they can protect their ideas. The problem with this argument is that patents apply even if the infringer came up with the idea independently,” said Persson. “If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first ”
“If you own a software patent, you should feel bad,” he added.