NAFCU following patent reform, cyber bill action in Senate

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Dec. 17, 2013 – NAFCU will closely monitor today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on patent-troll abuses as well as other Senate mark ups this week on postal reform and cybersecurity legislation.

Today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Protecting Small Businesses and Promoting Innovation by Limiting Patent Troll Abuse,” begins at 10 a.m. Eastern. John Dwyer, president and CEO of New England FCU of Williston, Vt., a NAFCU member will testify during the hearing led by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., author of the 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.

In response to the growing problem of patent trolls, Leahy and committee member Mike Lee, R-Utah, have introduced the “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act” to increase transparency in the ownership of patents and protect those targeted with frivolous lawsuits related to patent infringement. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is an original cosponsor.

NAFCU strongly supports the Senate’s work on patent abuses as well as House bill, H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act,” addressing patent reform, which passed on Dec. 5. The NAFCU-backed measure would bring some relief to credit unions from baseless litigation associated with low-quality patents.

Also, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs on Wednesday will mark up S. 1486, the “Postal Reform Act of 2013” and legislation addressing cyber issues, the “Cybersecurity Retention and Recruitment Act.”

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled, “What Information Do Data Brokers Have on Consumers, and How Do They Use It?” on Wednesday.