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News Now

Washington
Patent 'Troll' Bill Markup Is Today
WASHINGTON (11/20/13)--In advance of a markup session today, the Credit Union National Association and a coalition of partners sent a letter of support to lawmakers for "The Innovation Act of 2013" (H.R. 3309), which intends to help clean up a scourge known as "patent trolls."
 
The so-called "trolls" use low-quality patents to try to extract settlements from credit unions and others and are an abuse of the patent system, CUNA has said.
 
Credit unions have been sued for the use of certain ATM technologies, check imaging applications and check cashing applications, and providing members with mobile transactions through their smartphones, among other examples of this form of abuse.
 
CUNA has strongly advocated for improvements to a program that allows financial institutions to pursue invalidity claims at the Patent and Trademark Office when confronted with a patent claim. The program provides financial institutions with powerful tools to defend themselves, but carries a hefty price tag--starting at $35,000 just for the filing fee. The Innovation Act contains a provision to allow that fee to be waived on a discretionary basis, with an idea of benefiting credit unions and community banks.
 
H.R. 3309, which was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) late last month, would remove some of the financial incentives sought by firms that assert low-quality patents in the hope of quick settlements.
 
The mark up is scheduled to by the House Judiciary Committee for 11:15 a.m. (ET).


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