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Apple and Microsoft team up to slow patent reform

Tech giants like Apple and Microsoft have pushed for reform of the US patent system after being involved in a multitude of legal actions over patents, but now they're pushing to slow reform. Apple and Microsoft are teaming up with Ford Motor Company, DuPont, General Electric, Pfizer, and IBM for the Partnership for american Innovation, which aims to convince members of the United States Congress to dial back some of their proposals on patent reform in order to protect their own patents.

Reuters reports that the group is worried that the laws that Congress is considering to handle the patent trolls problem will hurt their own businesses. A quick look at the membership confirms the thought that the companies in question are particularly concerned about moves to make software and biotechnology unpatentable.

The push in Congress to reform the patent system has been growing, often at the behest of these very companies after they've come under fire in multi-million-dollar (and multi-billion-dollar) patent suits from companies that merely hold patents they've acquired from elsewhere, having neither created the patent or produced any products that use it.

Most everybody agrees that reform is needed in the patent system to address modern inventions and business practices, but there's little agreement on how exactly the reforms should look. Hopefully a consensus meet-in-the-middle solution can be found that helps to spur on innovation while protecting the innovators. We're no patent law experts, and we doubt many of you are either, but where do you think patent reform should go?

Source: Reuters

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, occasional web designer, Army musician, armchair pundit, news addict, all-around nerd, professional ranter, and user of many phones.

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Reader comments

Apple and Microsoft team up to slow patent reform


I'm definitely not a patent lawyer/expert.

But what I feel should be done is simply make it to where every patent has a minimum life of 10 years (20 is FAR too long in this technological world. Even 10 is stretching it, but it's a fair middle ground).

Unless you have a product using said device successfully, it should not be able to be enforced. Treating a patent like a movie license would do wonders (whereas if you don't use it, you lose it. Very simple and very effective).

Also, if there is even ANY instance of the patent in question being shown elsewhere...it should not be able to be patented. That just ruins it.

Last, but not least, if it is TRULY common sense or a natural evolution of tech then it should not be able to be patented.

all patent trolls should be scared of congressional reform of the patent system, so it's not surprising the legion of doom is concerned.

I wish Microsoft and Apple would team up more, at least to slow the growth of android.

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And I wish that all 3 just played nice....it'd be so awesome if things could be cross platform, especially apps that we purchase. I have apple, Microsoft, and Google products. I don't like being stuck on one system, because all 3 fit my needs, as opposed to just one company. Each company has its faults, but it's like each one has a strength the other needs.

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What this guy said. More competition is a win win for everybody. Innovation is stifled when there are no other choices. If it wasn't for competition, we'd still be stuck with that ghetto iPhone 3G design.

Go figure, they team up to stop something that would hurt them from running to the court room in an attempt to stifle innovation. Now if they could team up with android and make everything cross platform, or play nice.

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