CUNA assessing patent reform bill endorsed in NY Times editorial

Congress seems closer than ever to getting patent reform legislation through, according to the editorial board of The New York Times. In an editorial posted Wednesday, the board addressed The Protecting American Talent and Entrepreneurship Act (PATENT Act), which was introduced last week.

CUNA is currently studying the legislation, which has bipartisan support. It is intended to reduce frivolous lawsuits by patent assertion entities, who often send vaguely worded demand letters to businesses alleging patent infringements.

“The Senate bill would allow the manufacturers of products like computer equipment to step in and fight claims on behalf of their customers,” the editorial reads. “This should cut down on lawsuits because some patent owners sue or threaten to sue the users of technology, rather than large technology companies like Cisco Systems and Microsoft, because small businesses are more likely to settle than engage in a costly legal battle.”

Another provision in the bill would allow judges to order the loser in a patent case to pay the legal fees of the winner if the case cannot be defined as objectively reasonable. Currently fees can only be awarded in exceptional cases.

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