Accounting News

Friday, September 9, 2011
No Tax Strategy Patents

In a rare showing of bipartisan support the Senate passed H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act. The final vote was an overwhelming 89-9.

The bill includes a ban on patenting tax strategies. In 1998 the courts foolishly decided that a business method may be patent-able. This has led to an abuse of the system for many thing including software. Several people have sought patents for tax strategies. The patent office still requires major reform but this is a step in the right direction.

Without this bill then patents could be issued to individuals or firms on tax avoidance strategies.To employ them would require a royalty fee to the patent holder.

The bill is now off to the president for the final signature. It was pushed Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Support for the measure also came from the AICPA. The question is who were the 9 that voted no and what special interest were they representing?