Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
bank, exemption, patents, senate

Senate Wants To Exempt Banks From Patent Infringement Lawsuit

from the why-an-exception? dept

The Senate seems to be really into granting immunity these days. Most folks know about the decision to grant telcos immunity for possible violations of the law, but in a much less well publicized situation, the Senate has moved to grant banks immunity from an ongoing patent lawsuit (found via Against Monopoly). While I agree that the patent seems questionable, and the impact on banks would be burdensome, it's ridiculous that the Senate would carve out a special exemption for banks (and apparently, as it stands now, taxpayers would have to pay the patent holder instead -- though, the Senate is trying to change that). It's nice that Congress has noticed that the patent system is broken here, but rather than fixing the actual patent system, their response is just to exempt one class of companies from one particular lawsuit? As reader Rich (who also submitted this item) pointed out: "If this goes through, every big industry will just pay off/lobby their friendly neighborhood Congressman to exempt them from specific patents. Too bad Vonage didn't do this before being forced to pay millions for weak patents."

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  • identicon
    angry dude, 15 Feb 2008 @ 7:22am


    Time to put all congressional legislative initiatives up for sale, to be sold to the highest bidder

    Honestly, some of those folks should be wearing stripes already...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2008 @ 7:45am

    Why not, they already gave our entire money system to them UNCONSTITUTIONALLY in 1913.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      doesnt matter, 15 Feb 2008 @ 8:57am


      Its nice to see someone educated and right on the "money" in my own little world..i am the only one who sees that kind of stuff..everyone else thinks i am crazy..and perhaps i am..but then again, are we not all a little bit?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steve R. (profile), 15 Feb 2008 @ 8:48am

    Special Inerests Win Again

    The proposal is another non-solution that simply protects a special interest group and neglects the public as a whole. The "real" solution is to change the patent law so that this type of extortion would not be possible. Once again politicians are avoiding making the "hard decisions" and simply applying a band-aide for the benefit of their special interests.

    Patents should never be granted for "concepts", "ideas", or "business models". Furthermore, even if a patent is granted, and someone else independently (via a black box development process) develops a similar product, the first patent holder should NOT be able to claim that they are entitled to "fees".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, 15 Feb 2008 @ 12:18pm

    Time to call myself a bank.

    If you give special treatment to a group then there is a rush to be catagorized as a member of that group.

    Just look at the proliferation of people who are handicap. That population is growing because they get preferential treatment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ryad, 15 Feb 2008 @ 3:12pm

    break the law?

    I don't understand why you insist on saying that the telephone companies broke any law by performing wiretaps without warrants. (which from what I have read only applies to wiretaps where it travels through the US and the person making and recieving the call are outside of the US)

    I hate most phone companies just like the rest of us but claiming that they broke a law, by following a law seems ridiculous.

    The FISA bill specifically makes it legal for them to do so. Whether or not you think it was right or not, it was the LAW that told them they could. How could you claim that they did anything illegal when they followed the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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