Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Culture of Corruption Continues Unabated

This is classic (comments in brackets are from Lambert at Corrente):

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.

Although the amendment would not invalidate DataTreasury’s patents, it would spare the banks from paying for infringing them should courts decide that’s warranted. If DataTreasury collected a royalty of just a couple pennies per check, the cost would run into billions of dollars.

h/t to Libby at The Newshoggers. Pretty sneaky, huh. Give the telecoms an inch, and the rest of the corporate world will take a mile. Now that the cat is out of the bag, will it keep this particular scam from happening? What are the odds that we'll see more of these provisions? Will McCain, Clinton, and Obama manage to be conveniently absent when this one makes its way to the Senate floor for a vote?

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