WASHINGTON (6/15/15)--A bill to combat abusive patent lawsuits, the Innovation Act (H.R. 9), passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 24-8. The bill is a strong step in the right direction, but the work does not stop there, said CUNA.
In passing the bill last week, committee chair and the bill’s chief sponsor Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the act would take the “necessary steps to address abusive patent litigation while protecting legitimate property rights.”
CUNA and a coalition of financial service firms support the intent of the bill but have urged lawmakers to go further in protecting financial firms from litigation related to commonly used technologies.
The bill would remove some financial incentives sought by firms asserting they have low-quality patents on commonly used technologies. Credit unions and other financial institutions have received demand letters from patent "trolls" threatening lawsuits and seeking quick settlements.
CUNA and its partners would like to see a provision added that would require demand letters to contain clear, detailed information about the owner of the patent, what entities have a financial interest in the patent, what product or service is allegedly infringing the patent and how the patent is being infringed upon.
Goodlatte introduced the legislation in February.