Lobbying by Wall Street has led to the insertion of a clause in recently-passed bill that will allow the banking industry to avoid paying for “certain important patents involving ‘business methods.’” This is a way of getting at frivolous patent lawsuits and extortionist trademark suits, as the definition for patentable “business method” has stretched so far beyond the credulous imagination:
Admittedly, it seems somewhat preposterous that simply processing scanned checks, as DataTreasury does, could be a patentable business method. But we have courts, which have upheld these patents, for a reason.
The arguments echo the kvetching by investors about the dubiousness of software patents in general. Dealbook says this small change amid the greater debate around patent reform shows how influential Wall Street remains in Washington. But Google and Facebook have reps on the ground in the Capitol as well. Where’s the tech industry pork, guys?