EFF creates the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents"

Broadcast.com founder Mark Cuban and Minecraft creator Markus Persson have donated $500,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation to endow the "Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents," which will be occupied by an attorney tasked with hunting down and destroying crappy patents that have been recklessly granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office to unscrupulous "inventors" who claim to have invented things that were obvious and/or already extant; and to pay for activists to fight for substantive patent reform:

Cuban's $250,000 donation also funds the hire of a new attorney experienced in patent reform and high profile patent litigation: Daniel Nazer, who will join EFF in January as a Staff Attorney. The rest of EFF's seasoned intellectual property team includes Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry, Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl, and Staff Attorney Mitch Stoltz. The team is also assisted by EFF fellows Michael Barclay and Jason Schultz.

Persson's separate donation of $250,000 cements EFF's ability to tackle the systemic problems with software patents. With a blend of lawyers, technologists, and activists, EFF will push for reform in the courts, through activism campaigns, and by educating the public and politicians about what is wrong with software patents and what needs to change.

"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, creator of the popular videogame Minecraft. "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."

EFF Patent Project Gets Half-Million-Dollar Boost from Mark Cuban and 'Notch'


    1. Wait…  you mean we’re taking up a collection to hire somebody to do what the government is supposed to do?  Game, set, match to the Republican Party.

      Maybe if this works out well we can start a charity to give health care and retirement benefits to seniors!

      1. Maybe if this works out well we can start a charity to give health care and retirement benefits to seniors!

        Workin’ on it.

        1. sensing some sarcasm here. If you want to believe in humanity check out how oatmeal and realjohngreen raise moolah for charities, 300l$ in matter of hours.

      2. I’m donating my money to buy a new Congress.  They seem to be pretty cheap, if you bypass all of that election stuff.

    1. Yeah I was well into it before i realized it was actually patents. As much as I would love to, eliminating stupid parents is wrought with legal and moral complications.

  1. This.  Is.  Awesome.

    My grandfather was an inventor… creator of, among other things, the Pitch Back, that orange net-and-angled-frame used for decades in baseball training.

    He created that because as a career military pilot, he was not around to play baseball much with my father. He created the Pitch Back as a way he could play catch with my dad when he was not actually there in person.

    One after another the Dixon family saw knockoffs and outright forgeries of my grandfather’s designs, even after he sold rights to big corps.

    Anyway, I celebrated this news about the perfectly-named Chair by going and buying a Humble Bundle.

    Go EFF! and thanks for all your hard work.

      1. Wow. As a Suns’ fan I’ve spent many years assuming that guy was a raging asshole. Time to reevaluate.

        1. He’s odd. He identifies himself as philosophically Randian, but his behavior does not necessarily support that declaration.

          1. Mark Cuban is a solid lefty libertarian.  He is a social libertarian nut (and I mean that in a good way), doesn’t worship at the feet of corporations, is skeptical of large government institutions, but without the usual libertarian demands to abolish all government and end social welfare and taxes.  He is the ideal of what the Republican party could and should be if they just drove the bat shit crazy out.

  2. Cuban’s always very anti-patent trolling on Shark Tank. Kevin O’Leary is always going on about patenting things and suing the violators. Well, not always. Occasionally. And then Cuban yells at him.

    I’m pretty sure Kevin is intimidated by Cuban, because he’s by far the richest on the Shark Tank panel. It’s interesting to see Kevin is such a position, because he’s always very confident on Dragons’ Den. I’ve written about this at length in the past because I’m a crazy person: http://polargrizz.tumblr.com/post/33336309458/the-case-against-bruce-croxon-dragons-den

  3. Here’s how to reform the patent process.

    1. Get an army.

    2. Storm the USPTO buildings using the army men.

    3. Find any and all rubber stamps, and take them away.

    4. Landfill the rubber stamps.

    5. Post army men in the mailrooms, making sure that they do not resupply with more rubber stamps.

    6. ???

    7. Profit!

  4. $250K?  Between the cost of the comfy chair and the lawyer to sit in it, Cuban’s set us up nicely for maybe three months.

    Can we do this on a contingent fee instead…? 1/2 :-)

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