Credit unions plagued by patent trolls could receive legislative relief thanks to a bill introduced Wednesday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). The Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) contains a discretionary fee waiver for covered business method patent review proceedings that has won critical support from CUNA, NAFCU and other business organizations.

Patent trolls are entities seeking unjust enrichment from companies they claim owe them payments based on questionable patents they hold. Trolls will send a demand letter threatening to sue or settle for payments they claim are owed them as patent-holders. The process at a minimum can be costly and time-consuming, especially for small credit unions, according to CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney.

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