The Washington Post reports on how IBM and Microsoft lobbied to stop software patent reform.

But large software companies had other ideas. A September letter signed by IBM, Microsoft and several dozen other firms made the case against expanding the program. The proposal, they wrote, “could harm U.S. innovators by unnecessarily undermining the rights of patent holders. Subjecting data processing patents to the CBM program would create uncertainty and risk that discourage investment in any number of fields where we should be trying to spur continued innovation.”

Of course, advocates of the program disagree. They point out that software patents are disproportionately responsible for the recent rise of patent litigation. The fact that technology startups almost inevitably face patent threats is itself a significant disincentive for innovation. So it’s far from clear that subjecting software patents to greater scrutiny would be bad for innovation.

Other notable companies involved include 3M, Adobe, Dolby, DuPont, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm and Xerox. View the letter and list of companies opposing CBM expansion.