GM, Honda Join Patent Alliance to Try to Beat Non Practicing Entities

General Motors and Honda have joined a network of what is currently made of up primarily tech companies that use licenses to ward off so-called “patent trolls.”

According to Fortune, the automakers joined the License on Transfer (LOT) Network this summer, which looks to keep non-practicing entities (NPEs) at bay.

The alliance essentially pledges that none of their patents will ever be used by a patent troll to sue another member. Launched in 2014, LOT also included the likes of Hyundai, Ford, and Uber.

We’ve seen more and more of large firms coming together for these types of deals, where it’s a pact like the LOT or a patent purchasing program to help facilitate sales of patents from their owners. It’s a highly-important development that keeps brands focused on innovation instead of litigation, and that’s exactly what the global economy needs the most.

It’s hard to say how successful they will be. NPEs are notoriously aggressive, and unless legislation catches up to the problem, there will always be patent trolls out there trying to get rich on an obscure patent. But the coordinated effort, even by companies that are not what we would traditionally call tech companies, is extremely impressive, and hopefully a big step forward in helping to solve the NPE problem.