Section 18 of a new patents law passed by the House of Representatives last month serves no other purpose than to allow the banking industry to not pay for use of certain patents, Andrew Ross Sorkin reports at the New York Times’ DealBook. Such an exemption has long been the goal of the banks and their high-paid lobbyists.
This provision should dispel any doubts as to how much power Wall Street wields in the U.S. Congress, Sorkin argues.
Banks have long complained about having to pay for use of patented “business methods”—like the processing of digital checks—that they consider integral to basic business practice. Section 18 would allow them to avoid paying for use of such business methods, even though the patents have been approved by both the U.S. Patent and Trade Office and federal courts.
Some opponents of the measure feel it would have unintended consequences beneficial for the banks, but negative for patent holders.
“It would be a tragedy if the greed of the big banks and their willing accomplices in Congress use this important legislation to trample the rights of legitimate patent holders and in the process weaken the integrity of our patent system,” Tom Giovanetti, head of the Institute for Policy Innovation, told DealBook.
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