It's not like there's not enough money in the sector. Patent lawyers have been the main beneficiary of the global lawsuits created by the world's richest tech companies suing each other over patents such as "pinch to zoom", page scrolling and round-cornered rectangles.
But that's why the reform of patent law has become a charitable cause. With a movement hoping to reverse the current state of affairs. Dotcom millionaire Mark Cuban and games developer Markus "Notch" Persson have donated $250,000 each to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Defend Ideas! campaign to reform software patents.
Cuban's cash is going towards paying for the "The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents" - a new title for the foundation's staff attorney Julie Samuels. Cuban explained why he wanted patents reformed:
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
Persson, creator of Minecraft, also donated a quarter of a million to the cause, explaining how important iteration is in software design:
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.
The Defend Ideas! project lists seven "fixes" for the system - including the suggestion that software patents should last for no more than five years, and that applicants must provide a running piece of code to receive a patent for it, and that a commission should investigate whether software patents have any economic benefit at all. ®