April 28, 2014

Manager's amendment out on patent reform

April 29, 2014 – NAFCU lobbyists expect the imminent release of a manager's amendment for Thursday's patent reform mark-up by the Senate Judiciary Committee to address credit unions' concerns about frivolous demand letters asserting business-method patent infringement.

The manager's amendment will include revisions to S. 1720, the "Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013." The bill was introduced by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to increase transparency in the ownership of patents and protect consumers against frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.

The manager's amendment is expected to include heightened pleadings, discovery reforms and fee-shifting measures, NAFCU lobbyists said. The package is also expected to include provisions from NAFCU-supported S. 1612, legislation introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on bonding for fee-shifting and greater transparency regarding demand letters.

NAFCU and other financial trade associations jointly wrote the panel earlier this month seeking passage of S. 1720. The letter was sent to Leahy, Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and committee member Mike Lee, R-Utah.

NAFCU has been working in support of patent reform legislation, including House-passed H.R. 3309, the "Innovation Act," introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and two separate bills from Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Hatch that would help discourage patent trolls from filing frivolous lawsuits.