Bill Would Limit Patenting Tax Planning Methods

Bill Would Limit Patenting Tax Planning Methods

News story posted in Legislative on 27 May 2009| 3 comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 18 May 2011


Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. has introduced a bill that if enacted would amend title 35 of the United States Code to limit the patentability of tax planning methods.

Full Text:


H.R. _______

To amend title 35, United States Code, to limit the patentability of tax planning methods.


Mr. BOUCHER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the
Committee on _______________


To amend title 35, United States Code, to limit the patentability of tax planning methods.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) IN GENERAL. -- Section 101 of title 35 (35 U.S.C. 101) is amended --

(1) by striking "Whoever" and inserting

"(a) PATENTABLE INVENTIONS. -- Whoever"; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:


"(1) UNPATENTABLE SUBJECT MATTER. -- A patent may not be obtained for a tax planning method.

"(2) DEFINITIONS. -- For purposes of paragraph (1) --

"(A) the term 'tax planning method' means a plan, strategy, technique, or scheme that is designed to reduce, minimize, or defer, or has, when implemented, the effect of reducing, minimizing, or deferring, a taxpayer's tax liability, but does not include the use of tax preparation software or other tools used solely to perform or model mathematical calculations or prepare tax or information returns;

"(B) the term 'taxpayer' means an individual, entity, or other person (as defined in section 7701 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) that is subject to taxation directly, is required to prepare a tax return or information statement to enable one or more other persons to determine their tax liability, or is otherwise subject to a tax law;

"(C) the terms 'tax', 'tax laws', 'tax liability', and 'taxation' refer to any Federal, State, county, city, municipality, or other governmental levy, assessment, or imposition, whether measured by income, value, or otherwise; and

"(D) the term 'State' means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.".

(b) APPLICABILITY. -- The amendments made by this section --

(1) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act;

(2) shall apply to any application for patent or application for a reissue patent that is --

(A) filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act; or

(B) filed before that date if a patent or reissue patent has not been issued pursuant to the application as of that date; and

(3) shall not be construed as validating any patent issued before the date of the enactment of this Act for an invention described in section 101(b) of title 35, United States Code, as amended by this section.

(c) EFFECTIVE DATE. -- The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to any action for patent infringement that is filed on or after that date.

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It's About Time

After years of "secret special techniques" that turned out to be nothing more than cover for corporate tax theft (acknowledged by the government when they made such things a badge of fraud under the listed transactions rules) I'm pleased the government is promoting collegial review and refinement of legal concepts as part of public discourse. Mark B. Weinberg Weinberg & Jacobs, LLP 11300 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 Voice 301-468-5500 Fax 301-468-5504

Boucher Tax Planning Patent Bill

Your headline is misleading. The bill would not "limit" the issuance of patents for tax planning methods--it would "prohibit" their issuance.

Boucher Tax Planning Patent Bill

Thank you for your comment. The word "limit" is taken directly from the description of the bill itself and was chosen for that reason. There was no intent to mislead.

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