updated 10:39 am EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
Group wants stronger patent protections for all
Apple, in conjunction with IBM, Microsoft, and others not in the technology industry have created The Partnership for American Innovation. The group's first goal is lobbying the US government to alter the trajectory of patent reform. Former US Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos is a senior advisor to the group.
"As director of the USPTO, I saw first-hand the significant role the patent system plays in encouraging inventors, promoting investment in innovation, and creating jobs," Kappos said. "Now is not the time to gamble with America's innovation engine -- once patent protections are eliminated, they cannot be restored."
The members of the PAI believe that the American economy is best served by a strong patent system that protects what the group calls "high-quality innovation in all fields of technology," and that the USPTO must be properly funded to 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 said.
Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft, and Pfizer have all allied themselves with the group. The group is at loggerheads with Google, which has widely argued that software is or should be un-patentable, as it built its Android program largely by borrowing from Java.