March 10, 2014 – Mark-up of a Senate bill targeting patent trolls and a nomination hearing including Mark McWatters are key developments ahead on the Hill this week of interest to credit unions.The Senate Commerce Committee is set to mark up eight bills Wednesday, including S. 2049. NAFCU supports the language of S. 2049 and similar legislation in the House, H.R. 3309.Titled the “Transparency in Assertion of Patents Act,” S. 2049 S. 2049 would require minimum disclosures by patent-assertion entities, requiring them to better identify themselves and the specific nature of the alleged infringement. It would also allow the Federal Trade Commission to penalize entities that routinely send deceptive demand letters.
The president called for action on patent reform legislation in his State of the Union address and reiterated it in an announcement last month of tools to strengthen the patent system.
On Thursday, McWatters will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on his nomination to succeed Michael Fryzel on the NCUA Board.Thursday’s Senate Banking hearing was postponed last week due to weather delays in the Washington, D.C., area. McWatters was nominated Jan. 7 and would have a term that ends Aug. 2, 2019.He will testify along with three Federal Reserve Board nominees and one nominee to a post at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.