JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (2/6/14)--The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) testified last week before a Missouri House committee in support of a bill that would limit patent troll abuse.
David Kent, director of state legislative affairs, offered credit unions' viewpoint during the Jan. 29 hearing in the House Financial Institutions Committee (Missouri Difference Feb. 5). House Bill 1374 is sponsored by Rep. Stan Cox (R-52). Sen. Mike Cunningham (R-33) introduced Senate Bill 706, which addresses the same issue.
HB 1374 sets clear criteria to help judges distinguish legitimate from illegitimate patent assertions. It also gives businesses affected by patent trolling the option to seek restitution through the circuit court.
"Patent troll" broadly refers to people who sue companies, such as credit unions, for patent infringement on often questionable claims in attempt to collect licensing fees.
The issue, which is high on the league's list to watch, also was addressed by Bill Cheney, president/CEO, Credit Union National Association, in Wednesday's Huffington Post. (See related story: Cheney in HuffPo enlists backers in 'patent troll' fight.)
"It's important we explain to lawmakers the severity of the issue, and that the costs associated with patent trolling affect both the credit union and the consumers that the credit union serves," MCUA Senior Vice President of Advocacy Amy McLard told News Now last week. (See Feb. 3 News Now: MCUA addressing patent abuses, multiple issues in state session.)