PORTLAND, Maine (2/10/14)--The Maine Credit Union League testified before the state Senate last week in support of legislation that would limit patent trolling. Representing Maine credit unions was Quincy Hentzel, the league's director of governmental affairs.
L.D. 1660--An Act Regarding Bad Faith Assertions of Patent Infringement--is sponsored by Sen. Anne Haskell (D), who is assistant majority leader.
"In Maine alone, we have seen several cases where poorly researched and vague demand letters have been sent to credit union executives suggesting patent infringements and demanding a settlement or threatening to take legal action," Hentzel testified (Weekly Update Feb. 7).
"These cases have dealt with patents related to topics such as Internet security technology, mobile transactions on smartphones, ATMs, and even wi-fi offered in credit union lobbies," Hentzel said. "This bill provides protections and relief for those legitimate business and organizations that are being shaken down by patent trolls and do not want to nor should they have to settle."
Representatives from the league met with Haskell to discuss patent trolling in December.
The Maine league's efforts coincide with the Credit Union National Association's continued advocacy efforts on the national level.
"Patent trolls present a dangerous reality to credit unions and their members, adding to the costs of providing financial services–and shouldn't be taken lightly," CUNA President Bill Cheney wrote in a Huffington Post column last week. "CUNA backs legislation that would curb abusive patent litigation by removing some of the financial incentives sought by firms that assert low-quality patents."
The Vermont Credit Union League submitted Cheney's piece to VTDigger.org, the Burlington Free Press, St. Albans Messenger and Vermont Business magazine (Newslines Express Feb. 7).