Thaler urges support of patent reform bill
Oct. 29, 2013 – Ahead of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on H.R. 3309, “Improving the Patent System to Promote American Innovation and Competitiveness,” NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler wrote the committee leaders in support of several reforms within the bill.
H.R. 3309 creates “a more efficient patent system, including NAFCU-supported language that would help protect credit unions from baseless litigation involving questionable business method patents,” Thaler wrote in his letter Monday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the bill’s author, and Ranking Member John Conyers, D-Mich.
The “Innovation Act” is a patent reform bill that targets abusive “patent troll” practices by entities that purchase patents in order to profit from litigation. This legislation eliminates a sunset provision in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act that would cause its business method patent review program to expire. It also clarifies the definition of a “covered business method patent” to specifically include the words “practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service.”
NAFCU supports patent reform that would bring relief to credit unions targeted by baseless litigation associated with low-quality patents.
Thaler praised H.R. 3309’s attention to the Transitional Program for the Review of Covered Business Method Patents, or CMB program but noted concern about the limits on the scope of patents that can be reviewed. “Given how problematic this issue has been for not-for-profit credit unions, NAFCU believes that arbitrarily limiting the program could lead to additional and unnecessary burden on our members,” Thaler wrote.
On Monday, NAFCU joined with other trade associations in a letter to Goodlatte thanking him for his leadership and the positive reforms included in this legislation. The letter also addressed the limits on the CMB program. Along with NAFCU, the letter was signed by American Bankers Association, American Insurance Association, The Clearing House, CUNA, Financial Services Roundtable, Independent Community Bankers of America, NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
Thaler's letter on H.R. 3309