Following last week’s patent reform shout-out in President Obama’s State of the Union address, CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney offered his thoughts on the effects of abusive patent litigation:

“For credit unions and the other small financial institutions that have received these letters, the target is also typically the technology that makes financial services accessible to consumers, such as ATMs, online and mobile banking, remote check capture and check processing, just to name a few.  These technologies are crucial for smaller institutions in their seemingly never-ending quest to ‘keep up with the big guys’ in providing services to consumers.

But, facing the cost of defending themselves, many credit unions may decide that technologies such as these – however much they will help their members – just are not worth the risk.  If that’s the case, consumers lose, both in the loss of convenient services, and in the future viability of their access to a small financial institution focused on their individual needs.”

Click here for Cheney’s full commentary published by VTDigger.

Both CUNA and NAFCU have voiced their support for the President’s initiatives on patent reform as well as the bills making their way through Congress.  Echoing Cheney’s support for practical reform, NAFCU’s Dan Berger has called for the promotion of “innovation and not litigation.”