March 21, 2007 -- As many as 40 U.S. businesses have joined forces to rally for stronger patent laws that better protect American-made innovation in the global marketplace, officials said Wednesday.

The Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, which includes businesses from a range of industries, is seeking to foster creativity and innovation by insuring that investments in research and development are protected under the U.S. patent system, said Gary Griswold, a group spokesman.

"The are meaningful reforms that can be implemented to ensure American companies continue to fund researchers in labs, make investments in emerging technologies, and focus on bringing patented products to the marketplace," Griswold, the president of 3M Innovative Properties, said in a statement.

Among those reforms is the need to better harmonize the U.S. patent system with those of its major trading partners, the group said. Others include preserving an open-ended, unitary, and flexible system, while creating an open review procedure for patent applications, the group said.

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Published on: Mar 21, 2007