The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has received $500,000 in funding from Minecraft creator and Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson and serial entrepreneur (and Dallas Mavericks owner) Mark Cuban. Both donated $250,00 each to help the advocacy group fight for patent reform in Washington, according to GII. Cuban is also a star on the popular ABC television show "Shark Tank."
"Temporary fixes aren't good enough - we need deep and meaningful reform to protect software development and keep it as free and democratic as possible," said Persson. "New games and other technological tools come from improving on old things and making them better - an iterative process that the current patent environment could shut down entirely. This is a dangerous path we're on, and I'm glad to help EFF move us in the right direction."
Cuban's $250,000 will go towards the hiring of patent attorney Daniel Nazer as a staff attorney from the organization.
"The current state of patents and patent litigation in this country is shameful," said Cuban. "Silly patent lawsuits force prices to go up while competition and innovation suffer. That's bad for consumers and bad for business. It's time to fix our broken system, and EFF can help. So that's why part of my donation funds a new title for EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels: 'The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents'."
The EFF is fighting for patent reform through its Defend Innovation project. The project aims to reform the United States patent system by shortening the term for software patents, allowing winning parties in patent-related lawsuits to recover fees and costs (often referred to as "loser pays"), and protecting inventors who independently arrive at a patented idea.