We all know that the DRM situation is already getting out of hand. It appears, however, that things have gotten a little crazier. A nominally-sized computer security company called Uniloc, who specializes in copy protection, is suing a group of much larger companies. The defendants include Sony Corp. of America, Activision Blizzard, McAfee, Inc. and a few others. The lawsuit alleges that these defendant companies have been infringing on Uniloc’s patent system for registering software. Uniloc is claiming that they have suffered irreparable damages due to these infringements.
Gamepolitics.com spells out the specifics of the lawsuit:
“At issue is Uniloc’s U.S. Patent # 5,490,216 (Exhibit A PDF), entitled “System for Software Registration.” Uiloc alleges that the defendants “directly and/or indirectly infringed at least one claim of the ‘216 patent” by “among other things, making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing a system, device and/or method for reducing software piracy, reducing casual copying and/or reducing the unauthorized use of software, including without limitation.”
Of course, copy protection and DRM are serious issues. There is no doubt that the pirating of media, and software in particular, has caused great losses to many companies. However, as stated above, things have gotten out of hand. Not only are companies going after everyday consumers for perceived losses, now companies are going after each other. It’s time to take on the big boys! This is like a Saturday Night Live skit with Seth Meyers. I can hear it now: “Really Uniloc? Really? You’re going to take on Sony, Activision and McAfee? Really..?”
Although they are saddling up for this fight, things don’t look good for Uniloc. Previously in 2003, they filed suit against an ever bigger company, none other than Microsoft Corporation. Although Uniloc initially won a $338 million judgment in 2009, this ruling was overturned by a judge later that year.
If you would like to read the current complaint in its entirety, a copy of it can be found here.
So, ranters, do you think that Uniloc might have a valid claim here, or are they just raging against the machine?