WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is taking steps to encourage innovation in high tech patents that it calls "a key driver of economic growth."
The White House on Tuesday announced five executive actions and seven recommendations for Congress to protect innovators from lawsuits.
A statement from the Obama administration says innovators continue to face challenges from so-called patent trolls, companies that obtain patents but don't do actual research or development. Those companies can use their patents to seek licensing fees from others who make products or provide services.
The White House says several major companies are spending more on patent litigation and defensive acquisition than on research and development. The White House argues that hurts the economy and says that addressing the problem can help protect good-paying American jobs.