'Innovation within software is basically free, and it's growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down', says Persson

EA, Mojang and Square sued over software patent

A number of developers and publishers including Mojang, Square Enix and EA are being sued for software patent infringement.

Patent licensing firm Uniloc has filed the lawsuit against the games companies for allegedly violating a patent for a “system and method for preventing unauthorised access to electronic data”.

The lawsuit, filed at a Texas District Court, specifically refers to Android applications used by the studios in a number of releases, including Minecraft and Bejewelled 2.

Other companies being sued include Madfinger Games, Gameloft and Halfbrick Studios.

Upon receiving notice that Mojang was being sued by Uniloc, studio founder Markus ‘notch’ Persson said he would throw piles of money at making sure the firm did not get a cent.

“Software patents are plain evil,” he said on Twitter.

“Innovation within software is basically free, and it’s growing incredibly rapid. Patents only slow it down.”

He later added on his blog: “I am fine with the concept of ‘owning stuff’, so I’m against theft. Society breaks down if people can’t ‘own stuff’.

“I am mostly fine with the concept of ‘selling stuff you mad’, so I’m also against copyright infringement. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as theft, and I’m not sure it’s good for society that some professions can get paid over and over long after they did the work.

“But there is no way in hell you can convince me that it’s beneficial for society to not share ideas. 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.”

Uniloc has previously sued other companies such as Microsoft and Adobe over patent infringement.

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