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News Now

Washington
NEW: House Approves CUNA-Supported Patent Improvement Bill
WASHINGTON (12/5/13, UPDATED: 1:35 P.M. ET)--The U.S. House today approved The Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3309) by a 325 to 91 vote. The bill, which will now move on to the Senate, included a Credit Union National Association-supported amendment.

H.R. 3309, which was introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in late October, would remove some of the financial incentives sought by firms that assert low-quality patents in the hope of quick settlements.

So-called "patent trolls" continue to use low-quality patents to try to extract settlements from credit unions and others. 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.

The amendment supported by CUNA would require patent trolls to identify the ultimate parent entity in claim letters filed as part of their patent litigation.

CUNA and coalition partners on Wednesday supported H.R. 3309 in a letter sent to all House members. The bill, they wrote, "takes a positive step" toward addressing the exponentially growing threat of "patent trolls" that assert patents of dubious quality against legitimate businesses, including banks and credit unions. (See Dec. 5 News Now story: CUNA to House Leaders: Patent Bill Goes in 'Right Direction'.)


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