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Texas Senate: Patent Troll and SDSI Governance Changes Pass
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 6:55 AM

Patent Troll Bill Passes Texas Senate

The Texas Senate passed SB 1457 by Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) which addresses the issue of "patent trolls." Patent trolls buy up patents and file frivolous legal claims. Businesses may find that the cost of fighting the lawsuit is greater than paying off the patent troll. This bill makes it illegal to send a bad-faith claim of patent infringement and provides for civil penalties for such offenses.

Texas Senate Passes SDSI Governance Changes

The committee substitute to SB 217 by Chuy Hinojosa (D-McAllen) was passed by the Senate on April 21. The bill consolidates Self-Directed, Semi-Independent agency (SDSI) governance for all SDSI agencies in to the Government Code. 

The new provisions cover applications for SDSI, sunset review of SDSI status, oversight of SDSI agencies, and revocation of SDSI status. The bill moves the Credit Union Department and Finance Commission SDSI authorization out of the Finance Code into the SDSI Act. The report from the Sunset staff recommending this change is to standardize the operation of the SDSI status.

The TCUD, Finance Commission, and other four agencies under SDSI continue to have SDSI status under this bill. SDSI status allows the governing boards of the agencies to set the budget rather than going through the appropriations process in the Legislature.

The bill requires financial regulatory agencies to submit an annual report, rather than every two years as currently required. The bill greatly expands the information to be included in the report, which would now include detailed information on the number of complaints received and how those complaints were handled, the number of enforcement actions, as well as the amount of administrative penalties assessed, among other data.  In addition, a financial audit of each agency would be required every six years.

For further information, contact Jeff Huffman, president of the Texas Credit Union Association, at 469-385-6488 or