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(Software) Patents; are they evil?

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In the last year, the tech industry has seen so many patent-cases in courtrooms all over the world.The most famous must be the constant patent war between Apple and Samsung… (Samsung vs Apple and the winner is) Which has now ended with a British judge ruling that Apple must formally apologize on their website and state that Samsung in fact did not copy their design. Microsoft have been trying to persuade every larger producer of Android powered devices to license the Microsoft patterns Android is supposed to break,with Motorola as the last big producer to currently not license the patents, now they are going to court and a number of Motorola devices are now under animport ban in the US.

Furthermore Apple just recently got a new patent on invisible scrollbars, which seems like prior art? In addition, indie developer Mojang, who creates the incredibly popular game Minecraft, are now being sued for patent infringement by Uniloc, on the way Minecraft checks if the user has a license for using Minecraft "Pocket Edition" on Android devices.

Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the ''067 patent… without the consent or authorization of Uniloc, 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. (telekinetic sic.)

Uniloc however seems like a company which more or less only exist to use its patents. The company, on previous occasions, has made no less than 73 separate lawsuits.Notch, the inventor of Minecraft and founder of Mojang, had this to say on twitter

"Software patents are plain evil. Innovation within software is basically free, and it''s growing incredibly [rapidly]. Patents only slow it down"


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