Apple spent $720,000 on lobbying the federal government in the first half of 2007, the company has revealed.

Apple has been lobbying Congress on laws designed to update the US patent system. The company has been arguing in favour of a law designed to filter out bad patents by allowing their re-evaluation after they have been granted.

The intention is to avoid the cost of defending patents in the courts, or of facing action bought on behalf of holders of loosely-worded or badly granted patents.

Apple has also been lobbying for bills to increase technology education funding and for tax breaks for research and development costs.

The company was required to reveal its lobbying activities under a 1996 statute.