Well folks, it may not come as a surprise to most, but the good ol’ boy system is still alive and well on the streets of Washington D.C. According to a story in the Washington Post, Alabamian Senator Jeff Sessions managed to sponsor a bill that will render a pending patent suit between DataTreasury and Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Wachovia and Citigroup, (among others) moot. Senator Sessions, along other legislators have seen fit to undermine the courts by granting the banks immunity to a lawsuit that may result in billions of dollars of liability if not for Congressional protection. The provision has already been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be voted on within the next month. Tech LawForum readers may be interested to know that the Junior Senator from Alabama has received just over $100K from commercial banks in the last five years according to www.opensecrets.org. Additionally, it should be noted that DataTreasury’s patents claim a system for processing checks that is used by the banking industry and the federal government. However, a spokesman for Senator Sessions reassures readers that the good Senator has only the best intentions. According to them, the provision
is designed to protect banking institutions complying with post-9/11 security requirements from the abusive practices of patent trolling trial lawyers seeking personal enrichment, which ultimately will be paid for by checking account customers across America.
We here at Tech LawForum were unaware that the banking industry was so feeble and defenseless; however, it is good to see that Congress can take time out from its busy schedule of cleaning up professional sports to undermine the patent system and help the banks save some money.