Collecting Different Taxes Is Too Burdensome… Until We Have The Patent

from the so-that's-how-it-works dept

theodp writes “A week after Amazon testified before Congress in 2006 that it would be ‘unconstitutionally burdensome’ to require Amazon to collect interstate taxes, the USPTO disclosed that the e-tailer has been quietly seeking a patent for collecting international taxes since 2004. USPTO records indicate the patent application was filed with a request that it not be published. Nonpublication requests must be rescinded if a foreign or international application is filed.”

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Collecting Different Taxes Is Too Burdensome… Until We Have The Patent”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
William C Bonner (profile) says:

Different Taxes, Different Items, Different Locati

My understanding of past tax requirements for mail order businesses was that you had to deal with taxes for whatever locality you have a physical presence in.

I live in the seattle area, and normally travel in a 20 mile diameter from my home, which takes me through several different tax rates. I’ve seen sales taxes as low as 7% and as high as 9%.

This past year the Federal Income Tax had a sales tax deduction for the states without Income Tax. I used a lookup table deduction from the rate used by the Best Guy across the freeway from me, but was initially conused when I picked up three different reciepts I had around and found three different tax rates. None of them were from differnt states.

The complications of internet sales tax laws will be such a barrier to entry for any new business to sell items out of their own locations.

If there is a single government entity that actually took responsibility for collecting and distributing sales tax things might be possible. But that government entitity would quickly grow to be larger than the benifit itself. (What percent of tax collectign goes right back to funding the collecting?)

John W (user link) says:

Re: Different Taxes, Different Items, Different Lo

So right. The GAO estimated that Americans spend $265 billion just on compliance with the Income Tax by measuring, tracking, sheltering, documenting, and filing our annual income. That doesn’t include the $177 Billion lost from tax evasion (1998 numbers…it’s higher today I’m sure)

That’s why we need the FairTax instead of Income Tax.

Thumbnail sketch of FairTax

FairTax frequently asked questions

Main Site

Mike Brown (user link) says:

"Amazon" Patent Application

“…USPTO records indicate the patent application was filed with a request that it not be published. Nonpublication requests must be rescinded if a foreign or international application is filed.”

I’m not sure what the point is in pointing out the nonpublication request.

There’s nothing unusual about this. Patent applications (in the US) are kept secret when they are filed. Until 2000, this secrecy continued throughout the pendency of the application, until it issued as a patent (if it ever did).

Since November, 2000, nonprovisional US applications are automatically published 18 months after filing (to be picky, 18 months after the earliest filing date in the chain of applications, if any). If the applicant doesn’t intend to file foreign applications when the US application is filed, he/she/it can request that the application not be published – that is, that it be treated the same way as all applications filed from 1797 through 2000. This would be meaningless if the application were filed in a foreign country, since they all publish at 18 months, so the rules were written such that if the applicant changes its mind and decides to file foreign applications (or PCT), they had to notify the USPTO so they could publish the same time as the other patent offices.

That is what happened here, apparently – Amazon decided to file a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application (which was published as WO2006020575). On the same day they filed the PCT application, they rescinded their nonpublication request. So, Amazon properly rescinded the request in plenty of time foir the application to publish at 18 months after filing, just as it would have if no request had been filed.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...