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Uniloc sues Activision and Sony over DRM infringement

Aspyr, Borland, McAffee and Quark also named, but 2009 Microsoft claim failed

Security software firm Uniloc is pursuing court proceedings against a number of publishers, including Activision and Sony, over what it claims is wilful infringement of its copy-protection technology.

Uniloc holds US Patent # 5,490,216, a "system for software registration", filed in 1996. This regards "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."

In other words, a blanket term for copy-protection and DRM.

The company has accused the publishers of creating their own rival tech to this (such as Sony's SecuROM), and thus causing "irreparable damage" to Uniloc's business. The software firm currently pulls in $100 million per year.

Uniloc has taken aim at a similarly big fish in the past, having briefly been awarded $388 million from Microsoft regarding the same patent but a judge later overturned the ruling.

It is basing its current action on that case, claiming its high profile meant the publishers concerned would have been fully aware of their alleged infringement.

As well as Activision and Sony, the defendants include Aspyr, Borland Software, McAfee and Quark.

"Patent infringement, especially when it's carried out by Captains of Industry like Sony America and McAfee can kill a small business," claimed Uniloc CEO Brad Davis. "We do not intend to let this happen to Uniloc and we plan to defend our patents aggressively whenever we believe they are violated."

Uniloc is also appealing the reversal of the Microsoft judgement, with new proceedings commencing in September.

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Latest comments (1)

Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe6 years ago
Prior art: copy protection on software ever since like the late 1970s... patent troll.
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