President Obama on Friday signed a bill that revamps the nation’s patent law and includes a credit union-backed measure that could make it harder for patent holders to sue financial institutions for alleged violations.
Obama said the measure would spur job growth by speeding up the patent approval process.
“We've got a lot of competition out there. And if we make it too hard for people with good ideas to attract investment and get them to market, then countries like China are going to beat us at it and beat us to it," the president said in remarks before signing the bill at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va.
Of interest to credit unions is a provision that makes it harder for holders of "business method" patents which cover processes such as electronic filing of documents, to sue financial institutions such as credit unions. Under the bill, credit unions and banks accused of patent infringement to demand a review of the patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
CUNA, NAFCU and CUNA Mutual have been among the credit union-related entities that lobbied for the measure, which was also backed by the bank trade associations.
None of the credit union organizations could say how much money credit unions have lost because of lawsuits that have been filed accusing them of patent infringement.
The House passed the bill in June and the Senate passed it last week.