Sunday, February 17, 2008

Telecom immunity is just the beginning

By Libby

Lambert picked up on a story yesterday that didn't get enough notice. The Senate apparently intends to turn excusing corporate criminality into a cottage industry.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has sponsored an unusual [not for long!] provision at the urging of the nation’s banks granting them immunity against an active patent lawsuit, potentially saving them billions of dollars.

Adopted with little fanfare [I’ll bet!] , the amendment would prevent a small Texas company called DataTreasury from collecting damages from banks for infringing on its patented method for digitally scanning, sending and archiving checks. The patents were upheld last summer by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after they were challenged.

The provision, passed without dissent by the Senate Judiciary Committee [Nice work, Senator Leahy!] in July and inserted into legislation scheduled for a vote by the full Senate this month, is a rare [but not for long!] attempt by Congress to intervene in ongoing litigation, congressional experts say.
Maybe somebody should remind them that their job is to draft laws, not interfere in active lawsuits. They seem to have forgotten, perhaps in their haste to tally up their corporate campaign contributions. [via]

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