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Patent Trolls

The risk of abusive patent infringement claims impacts nearly every industry, and is a serious concern for banks of all sizes across the country. That is why ABA supported the reforms Congress put in place through enactment of the America Invents Act, in particular the process for review of overly broad business methods patents by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). Unfortunately, the abuses have continued despite those reforms and banks continue to be threatened with litigation and licensing fee demands by non-practicing entities (NPEs) that hold overly broad technology patents. As a result, resources and capital that could go toward lending or otherwise serving bank customers and the community have been re-allocated to defend against these claims

ABA Position

ABA strongly supports efforts to end abusive patent litigation.  Congress should act on legislation to alleviate incentives that drive abusive litigation by patent NPEs. In particular, it would be helpful to put in place measures to make it harder and more costly for NPEs to launch unfounded demand letters, restrict their ability to profit from suing end-users of technology, as opposed to those who make and or sell that technology, and provide for the recovery of litigation costs by defendants that successfully defend against abusive patent challenges from NPEs. 




 Letters to Congress




Federal Legislation

Federal Regulatory

Executive Action Links:

State Resources

ABA also strongly supports state efforts to end abusive patent claims. Advocacy by ABA and the SBAs led the Conference of State Governments to adopt Vermont’s first-of-its-kind anti-patent troll legislation as a model in 2013. As of April 2014, if your bank is in Alabama, Idaho, Maine, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah or Vermont, you now have or soon will have additional tools available to fight off bad faith patent claims.

Other Resources



 Demand Letters

  • Contact your lawyer
  • Call your local state bankers association
  • Visit the PTO website

 ABA Staff Contact

  • Bill Boger, SVP, Chief Legislative Counsel (Federal Legislation)