by Mike Masnick
Fri, Feb 15th 2008 6:48am
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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