May 20, 2014

Thaler urges legislative fix for patent-troll problem

May 21, 2014 – NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler urged a legislative solution to the patent troll problem Wednesday in a letter to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

Thaler wrote in advance of the subcommittee's hearing, scheduled for tomorrow, to review draft legislation from panel Chairman Lee Terry, R-Neb., to combat so-called patent "trolls" and abusive litigation.

"A growing number of credit unions are reporting receipt of demand letters from law firms representing patent assertion entities, claiming patent infringement, with the option to settle or face litigation," Thaler wrote. "These deceptive letters are confusing and misleading as they often allege that the use of everyday technology violates the patent holders' rights … NAFCU believes a legislative solution is necessary to alter the intimidating business model used by these patent assertion entities."

Earlier this month, NAFCU joined with several other organizations to urge Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to put a stop to patent abuse with legislation that would provide relief from frivolous lawsuits.

The letter was sent by the Main Street Patent Coalition, a national, non-partisan coalition of organizations dedicated to stopping patent abuse from trolls by encouraging Congress to pass reform legislation.