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(Message started by: Tony Kondaks on Nov 30th, 2007, 1:05pm)

Title: Taxing method
Post by Tony Kondaks on Nov 30th, 2007, 1:05pm
I have devised a unique method of  determining one's tax liability in a specific area of taxation.  It involves a new way of calculating income for a means test (the means test is currently used by the IRS to determine one's tax liability in a specific area).

Can one patent a method like this?

If so,would one be able to collect licensing fees from the federal government for using it (assuming that they liked it and adopted its use) or are they exempted from application of patents?

Title: Re: Taxing method
Post by CriterionD on Dec 2nd, 2007, 3:54pm
Hypothetically your "method" may be patentable.  Enforcing a resulting patent could hypothetically be tricky, with or without government involvement.

Note that you could also simply keep the "method" secret.  If you take the necessary precautions to do so, you can establish trade secret protection - which is not as extensive as patent protection but can be better in certain instances because, obviously doing so does not require public disclosure of a formula/method/etc.  You could utilize your secret method either to start your own company and gain a competitive advantage over competition, or you could even license the trade secret in that scenario.  

As far as licensing to the government, I don't feel too comfortable addressing that issue.  From what I gather, there is a current lawsuit on this subject - Zoltek Corp v. the US.  From what I gather, the Zoltex Corporation has thus far been unable to obtain damages for alleged patent infringement by the US government (and/or one of its contractors).



Title: Re: Taxing method
Post by Tony Kondaks on Dec 3rd, 2007, 5:40pm
Thanks for the response.
Unfortunately, there is no way I could keep the method secret as the only way I could ever get government/IRS to adopt it would be to lobby for it, which would require disclosure of what it's about.
I shall make a point to familiarize myself with the ongoing case you cited and keep my eye on it.



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