Microsoft went public on Thursday with a number of proposals designed to overhaul the U.S. patent system and make it better suited to the software industry. Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith presented Microsoft's proposed reforms during a day-long seminar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Microsoft has a vested interest in patent reform. In 2004, the company filed 3,000 new patent applications.
At the same time, company officials acknowledge that Microsoft is among the largest targets of patent litigation in the country. Microsoft is spending close to $100 million annually to defend against an average of 35 to 40 simultaneous patent lawsuits, according to Microsoft's data. Microsoft is still fighting the $520 million jury verdict that was awarded to Eolas Technologies on the grounds that Microsoft had infringed its Web browser technology patents, for example.
News source: eWeek