“Major U.S. companies including Ford, Apple and Pfizer have formed a lobbying group aimed at pushing back at some changes to the patent system members of Congress have proposed, saying these measures would hinder protection of valuable inventions,” Diane Bartz reports for Reuters.

“The group is concerned about pending legislation aimed at fighting so-called patent assertion entities (PAEs), companies which produce nothing but instead buy up patents and then attempt to extract licensing fees or sue for infringement,” Bartz reports. “Called the Partnership for American Innovation, the group warned that steps to stop the PAEs could also hurt truly innovative companies.”

“Companies signing on to the effort so far are Apple Inc., DuPont, Ford Motor Co., General Electric, IBM Corp, Microsoft Corp and Pfizer Inc.,” Bartz reports. “In particular, the group would oppose efforts to make software or biotechnology unpatentable. Google, Cisco and other supporters of efforts to curb frivolous patent litigation from PAEs, often termed “patent trolls,” supported a bill that easily passed the U.S. House of Representatives in December.”

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