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Minecraft Patent Lawsuit

A tweet by Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson reveals that Mojang is being sued for patent infringement over Minecraft, saying: "Step 1: Wake up. Step 2: Check email. Step 3: See we're being sued for patent infringement. Step 4: Smile." He's posted the complaint in Adobe Acrobat format, and Boing Boing notes the plaintiff in this case, Uniloc calls itself an intellectual property "incubation lab" specializing in computer security, but they just call them patent trolls, noting that the suit was filed in Tyler, Texas, which besides being the birthplace of NFL legend Earl Campbell, is apparently also renowned as a place where the courts are known to friendly to the plaintiffs in such cases.

Here's word from the complaint: "Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the í067 patent in this judicial district ... by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft [sic]."

For his part, Notch tweets about his resolve to fight this out in court, just as he did when sued over the right to name his next game scrolls, saying: "Unfortunately for them, they're suing us over a software patent. If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don't get a cent." He also blogs about this, giving his outlook on such litigation. Here's a portion:

But there is no way in hell you can convince me that itís 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.

A common argument for patents is that inventors wonít 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. If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first?

I will say that there are areas which are very costly to research, but where the benefits for mankind long term are very positive. I would personally prefer it to have those be government funded (like with CERN or NASA) and patent free as opposed to whatís happening with medicine, but I do understand why some people thing patents are good in these areas.

Trivial patents, such as for software, are counterproductive (they slown down technical advancement), evil (they sacrifice baby goats to baal), and costly (companies get tied up in pointless lawsuits).

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6. Re: Minecraft Patent Lawsuit Jul 22, 2012, 16:11 Mordecai Walfish
 
Dev wrote on Jul 22, 2012, 15:51:
He should STFU about it if its going to go to court. That last line is just giving ammo to his opponent.

LOL-- to think he gives 2 fucks about "giving ammo" to these clowns. Sorry, but all the ammo in the world won't work in a broken gun.
 
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5. Re: Minecraft Patent Lawsuit Jul 22, 2012, 16:07 Kajetan
 
Dev wrote on Jul 22, 2012, 15:51:
That last line is just giving ammo to his opponent.
What ammo?
 
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4. Re: Minecraft Patent Lawsuit Jul 22, 2012, 15:51 Dev
 
He should STFU about it if its going to go to court. That last line is just giving ammo to his opponent.  
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3. Re: Minecraft Patent Lawsuit Jul 22, 2012, 15:37 Beamer
 
Costly research will never be government funded due to idiots that think Obama is screwing us all, so I think that IP patents are necessary there - it isn't at all fair for a generic company to just start producing something that someone else spent hundreds of millions researching.

But yeah, in most other areas it's just who came up with a somewhat common or inevitable idea first (or patented it first.) Software patents are a terrible, broken thing.
 
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2. Re: Minecraft Patent Lawsuit Jul 22, 2012, 14:52 Wowbagger_TIP
 
Somebody's making money off it, so it continues. Even the big players seem to prefer to keep the system in place because they know they can afford it, but the upstart competition can't.  
Avatar 9540
 
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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1. Re: Minecraft Patent Lawsuit Jul 22, 2012, 14:44 ASeven
 
The patent system is so, so broken. It gives birth to so many patent trolls that I'm surprised nobody took steps to stop this.  
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