Tech & Gadgets

Apple, Microsoft, GE and IBM join lobbying group vs upcoming patent trolls legislation

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Apple, Microsoft, GE and IBM on Thursday joined DuPont, Pfizer and Ford in forming a lobbying group that strongly opposes upcoming legislation focused on patent trolls.

The lobbying powerhouse group named ?Partnership for American Innovation? (PAI) was formed to make sure that the current intellectual property system will continuously apply to computer software and biotechnology.

The group is against pending legislation efforts that aims to make software or biotechnology ?unpatentable?.

“There’s a feeling that the negative rhetoric is leading to a very anti-patent environment,” said David Kappos, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who heads the PAI.

Reports said that the proposal of the Congress actually targets patent assertion entities (PAEs) which would change the way software patents are distributed and protected. It was alleged that the proposed legislation targets PAEs which “purchase patents with the sole intention of licensing them to other companies or suing non-licensees for infringement.”

PAI believes that changing the way companies acquire rights over their inventions through patents would cause a breakdown in the economy and they also said that it will surely affect billions of dollars and millions of jobs that relies on the current system.

PAI said that making the products ?unpatentable? is a huge mistake.

Kappos said, “As director of the USPTO, I saw firsthand the significant role the patent system plays in encouraging inventors, promoting investment in innovation, and creating jobs. Now is not the time to gamble with America?s innovation engine?once patent protections are eliminated, they cannot be restored.”

Moreover, the announcement specifically pointed out the principles PAI members believe in:

The members of the PAI are committed to the following principles:

1. The American economy is best served by a strong patent system that protects high-quality innovation in all fields of technology.
2. It is critical to our global economy that IP is respected by all participants in the system.
3. The USPTO must be properly funded to efficiently and effectively process patent applications and issue only high-quality patents.

?It is in our country’s best interest to have a patent system that rises above short-term interests, and creates long-term gains for all sectors of the economy. We must move beyond rhetoric that ‘the system is broken and trolls are bringing businesses to a complete halt’ to a discussion of calibrated improvements for what is actually the best patent system our planet has,” Kappos finally said.


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