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Microsoft Joins Oracle as Computing Companies Fight Patent Suits

The top lawyers for Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. say a U.S. debate over rampant patent litigation could endanger businesses that rely on such legal protections for their innovative software.

Companies including Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. have said too many software patents are being used primarily to generate lawsuits instead of contributing to new products and services. While agreeing on that point, Microsoft, the world’s biggest software maker, and Oracle say some demands for change go too far in calling for strict limits or even the elimination of patents on software.