Minecraft facing lawsuit from another Patent Troll

/ 4 years ago

Minecraft is the latest name to fall victim to the patent trolling that is plaguing hardware and software companies alike. The Mojang company, who make the “indie” game Minecraft, have been served up a tasty lawsuit courtesy of Uniloc.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Minecraft and its makers Mojang, Minecraft made over $1 million in game sales whilst still being in the Alpha phase. Nearly 7 million people have bought the game directly from the Minecraft website and 3 million on the Xbox 360. The final version released on November 18, 2011 and it has gone on to spawn merchandise and ports for Android, iOS and Xbox Live Arcade.

It is the Android component of Minecraft that has caused the legal case. Uniloc, a company based in the US and Luxembourg (promising patent trolling credentials), has sued Mojang for infringing US patent No. 6,857,067 which Uniloc has held since 2005.

Uniloc claims they have infringed on part 107 of the patent, which is a patent that prevents unauthorised access to electronic data. The full description of the patent is as follows:

Computer code executable on an electronic device to prevent unauthorized access to electronic data stored on the electronic device, the computer code comprising: code for storing license data on a portable licensing medium configured to communicate with the electronic device; code for determining whether to allow access to the electronic data based on the license data; code for verifying the license data stored on the licensing medium by communicating with a registration authority having verification data; and code for providing updated license data received from the registration authority to the licensing medium.

Uniloc claim that because Minecraft’s Android port service has to contact a key code verification server, it therefore violates their patent. Markus “notch” Persson has been quoted as saying “if needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don’t get a cent.” We wish Minecraft and Mojang all the best with their legal dispute.