Dot-com millionaire Mark Cuban and Minecraft fortune holder Marcus “Notch” Persson, have each donated a quarter million dollars (£153,000) to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, to help the non-profit organisation fix the current problems with software patent law.
With these donations the EFF will be able to hire on another patent lawyer in the new year. Cuban suggested, with tongue firmly in cheek, that with his donation the position of new patent attorney could be titled, the “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents.”
“The current state of patents and patent litigation in this country is shameful,” said Cuban in an EFF statement. “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.”
The organisation has also pledged to put a lot of the donated money into tackling the patent system in the court room, as well as through activism campaigns – educating the public and politicians on the dangers of current patent law.
“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.”
This is all part of the EFF's “Defend Innovation” project, which aims to shorten the term for software patents and defend inventors that independently develop a patented technology.
KitGuru Says: What a generous couple of chaps. Still, not everyone is 100 per cent happy. Wired have called for the EFF to push for an abolition of software patents. What do you guys think? Is the EFF going far enough?