The House of Representatives Friday approved changes to the patent system aimed at reducing the amount of infringement lawsuits, but the approved measure drew immediate opposition from the biotech industry.

The changes, approved 220-175, were a victory for high-tech firms that require many separate patents, but biotech and pharmaceutical companies rely more on certain key patents.

Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, said "BIO appreciates the continued efforts by the House to improve the Patent Reform Act, but unfortunately cannot support the legislation passed today as it threatens continued biotechnological innovation." Greenwood said the House measure and one pending in the senate "do far more harm than good to our nation's patent system." He vowed that BIO would take the fight to the Senate.

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