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Tech Companies Align to Fight Patent Trolls

Tech companies Google and Amazon have joined with a half dozen other computer/tech companies to form the High Tech Inventors Alliance.

Their stated goal is to advocate for "balanced" patent policies, which includes taking aim at system abuses.

There is a tension between discouraging patent trolls who abuse the process to extract payments for threatened suits and protecting the legitimate intellectual property interests of patent holders.

Among what the alliance members say are system "dysfunctions" include "patent quality, baseless patent assertions, and the chronic persistence of patent troll litigation, which has nearly tripled since 2005."

Other members of the alliance are Adobe, Cisco, Intel, Oracle and Salesforce. All totaled, they represent more than 100,000 patents and have a vested interest in a "well-functioning" patent system.

According to the alliance, its members combined comprise 447,000 U.S. employees, have invested $62.9 billion in R&D in the past year, and hold a total of over 115,000 U.S. patents.