Groups representing major tech companies applauded broad patent reform legislation passed Thursday by the House of Representatives.
The Coalition for Patent Fairness, which represents companies like Google, Apple and Dell, called the bill a step forward in the effort to reform the American patent system.
IBM urged the House and Senate to quickly reconcile their bills.
"Now is the time to act to ensure the America Invents Act will modernize our nation's patent system, stimulate innovation and strengthen U.S. competitiveness around the world," the company said in a statement.
The bill also won plaudits from a string of higher education associations, including the Association of American Universities and American Council on Education.
"Our universities and medical colleges are this nation's principal source of the basic research that expands the frontiers of knowledge," they said in a statement. "This bipartisan legislation represents a thorough, balanced effort to bring the U.S. patent system into the 21st century"
David Kappos, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office joined Eli Lilly, the Business Software Alliance, and others, in praising the bill.
"The effort to reform our nation's patent laws began a decade ago, and House passage today brings patent reform a significant step closer to becoming law," Kappos said.
Not everyone was impressed. The Innovation Alliance, which represents tech companies such as Qualcomm, opposed the bill over last-minute changes to a how PTO fees are controlled.
"The Innovation Alliance is disappointed that the House of Representatives has approved legislation that will not end permanently the diversion of user fees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office," the group's executive director, Brian Pomper, said.