Alberto Gonzales Finds A Job: Helping To Settle Patent Trolling Disputes
from the easier-than-fighting-terrorism dept
This particular lawsuit is doubly interesting, because politicians have gotten involved. On the face of it, it looks like a typical patent holding lawsuit, where a company (that doesn't do anything) holds a very broad patent on the concept of automatic check scanning. It's suing a whole bunch of banks for their use of automatic check scanning without paying a big licensing fee for permission to do so. Where it's gotten ridiculous is that politicians dumped some language into a bill to exempt banks from having to obey this patent. That may create the right result (not forcing banks to license this unnecessary patent), but in a very, very bad way. Congress shouldn't be creating exceptions. It should be fixing the patent system.
In the meantime, given Gonzales' already seriously skewed view of intellectual property law (he wanted to make "attempted copyright infringement" a criminal offense and pushed for other laws that would greatly increase the coverage of copyright law), it seems unlikely that he's going to recognize just how damaging patents are in these sorts of cases.