The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has received $500,000 in funding from Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson and entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Each gentleman donated $250,000 to help the EFF fight for patent reform.
"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 fund the hiring of patent attorney Daniel Nazer, who will become a staff attorney at the organization. The rest of EFF's intellectual property team includes director Corynne McSherry, senior staff attorney Kurt Opsahl, staff attorney Mitch Stoltz, EFF fellow Michael Barclay, and EFF fellow Jason Schultz.
"The current state of patents and patent litigation in this country is shameful," said Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. "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 promotes several fixes for the United States patent system, including shortening the term for software patents, allowing winning parties in litigation to recover fees and costs, and protecting inventors who independently arrive at a patented idea.