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Mark Cuban invests $250,000 in EFF project to fix patent system

19 Dec 2012

Mark Cuban has invested $250,000 into the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) efforts to fix the US software patent system.

Cuban has long been a supporter of US patent system reform. Game Developer Markus "Notch" Persson also matched Cuban's donation to bring the EFF project's funding to half a million dollars.

"Patent controversies dominated technology news this year, and now more than ever, it's clear that something needs to change," said EFF executive director Shari Steele in a statement.

"We are so honored that these two inventors came to us separately with their contributions and their confidence, and we're excited about fixing software patents."

Cuban has long held the belief that the patent system is broken. Last March, the entrepreneur said that high-profile patent litigation would soon lead people to realize that the patent system is broken.

The EFF has said that Cuban's donation will allow the non-profit to bring another lawyer onto the patent reform project. Attorney Daniel Nazer is expected to join the firm next January.

"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."

Along with Cuban's donation, Minecraft developer Markus "Notch" Persson will also donate $250,000 to the cause. His donation will be used to kick start patent reform campaigns for the EFF.

The EFF's Defend Innovation project looks to bring seven key changes to the US patent system.

Among the changes, the EFF wants to reduce the length of software patents, force patent trolls to pay legal fees following invalid claims, and make patents public immediately after they've been granted.

The Defend Innovation project isn't the EFF's only current patent project. Earlier this month the group called on open-source enthusiasts to help keep 3D printing patents out of the hands of patent trolls.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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