CBA Sends Letter of Support for S. 1137: Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act

General information

Last week the CBA sent a letter to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein urging her to support the Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship (PATENT) Act (S. 1137), which may come before the Committee on the Judiciary in the next few weeks. Banks of all sizes license innovation and technology to support consumer use, and, as a result, they are frequently targeted by patent trolls. Nationally, banks are now one of the top ten industries targeted by trolls. Like many industries, when faced with threats of expensive patent litigation (estimated to cost between $500,000 and $3.5 million), many banks, particularly smaller institutions, realize that their only option is to settle these questionable claims rather than face paying even higher litigation costs to defend themselves against frivolous claims of patent infringement. 

Additionally, CBA asked Sen. Feinstein to support inclusion of a provision in S. 1137 that would make the Covered Business Method (CBM) program administered by the Patent Trial Appeal Board permanent or at least extend it for a substantial period of time. The CBM program, created in September 2012, was established, in part, to provide an administrative process to assess the validity of questionable business method patents. Over the years, it has proven to be a successful low-cost alternative to litigation of CBM patents. In fact, there are several CBM proceedings underway that could benefit banks and other financial institutions of all sizes. For example, overly broad patents held by the company, Data Treasury, used to extort more than $250 million in settlements from many banks nationwide, were recently invalidated through the CBM review process. Without intervening action by Congress, this important program will expire in 2020. 

The CBA sent a similar support letter to California Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee for H.R. 9, the Innovation Act.