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   Author  Topic: Tax Strategies Patents  (Read 2775 times)
CPA_Prac
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Tax Strategies Patents
« on: Jul 20th, 2006, 11:24am »
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I am a tax practitioner and have just learned that the U.S. Patent Office has been granting patents for tax strategies and a lawsuit has just been filed  in the case of "Wealth Transfer Group" v John W. Rowe."
 
The patent apparently is for the idea of funding a certain type of trust with stock options, which doesn't seem very unique to me. (Maybe I should patent one funded with gold bullion.) More important, this raises a whole set of issues about tax practice. For example, how can I defend myself, if I had the same idea years ago but it is only contained in privileged communication documents or confidential tax returns? As a practioner in a small firm, with no patent expertise, how do I even economically find out that something is patented?  
 
Any insights into what this all means and its impact on high level tax practice would be appreciated.
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Isaac
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Re: Tax Strategies Patents
« Reply #1 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 11:56am »
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on Jul 20th, 2006, 11:24am, CPA_Prac wrote:
The patent apparently is for the idea of funding a certain type of trust with stock options, which doesn't seem very unique to me.

 
It's fairly common for a patent to sound obvious given a description of the "idea" behind the patent.   The area of protection provided by a patent is defined by the claims.   The claims are a one or more sentences at the end of the patent which describe the "metes and bounds" of the patent.   It's unusual for the popular or lay media discussion of a patent to ever get around to talking about the claims.
 
Similarly, having the same "idea" does not mean that you possessed the same invention as the one claimed in the patent.
 
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Isaac
Mark_Nowotarski
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Re: Tax Strategies Patents
« Reply #2 on: Aug 16th, 2006, 4:33pm »
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We’ve been wrestling with similar issues in the insurance industry where a lot of patented and patent pending insurance products are based on tax strategies.  There are a number of conferences, articles and publications on the subject.  Search on “insurance patents” and you will find some good guidance.
 
As far as finding out what’s already on file, you can search published patent applications and issued patents at the United States Patent and Trademark office’s web site.  It’s at uspto.gov. (sorry, as newbie I can’t put a web link in)
 
Bottom line is that you are not alone.  The financial services industry as a whole is slowly coming up to speed on the implications of the patenability of business methods on their basic business practices.
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Jay Rand
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Re: Tax Strategies Patents
« Reply #3 on: Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:19pm »
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Does this mean that if a doctor develops a unique procedure for a life savings operation and patents it that no other doctor may use it on their patients without paying some sort of royalty.  
 
The guy that did the first heart pransplant sure missed out on a good thing.
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JimIvey
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Re: Tax Strategies Patents
« Reply #4 on: Mar 22nd, 2007, 12:54pm »
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Ah, I see.  New medical techniques and devices come out of the goodness of doctors' hearts.  They volunteer their time for free and large companies and governments fund research in medicine expecting nothing in return -- simply knowing that people will ail less is thanks enough!
 
And, if a doctor comes up with a new breakthrough, all he deserves is a pat on the back and a nice round of attaboys.  Thousands of lives saved and what do we as a society attribute as a just reward for that?  A pat and an attaboy.  That should make our nations brightest flock to medical school in droves.
 
And, since this is all done out of the goodness of the hearts of those involved, medical school is free of charge, stipends for support are widely available for those forgoing work so that they may study.
 
And, just in case someone truly deserving of medical attention can't make it to a hospital, paramedics carry a small pouch of pixie dust.
 
Boy, I'm so glad that profit doesn't enter into medicine!  What would the world be like if the taint of money dared to infiltrate our pristine and altruistic healthcare community?
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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