Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




I'm Sorry, You Can't Use That Deduction: It's Patented

from the say-what? dept

It's no secret that we have some problems with the way the patent system is set up, especially when it comes to things like business method patents. However, sometimes a situation comes along that so perfectly explains the problems with these types of patents, there's just not much to add. John Bennett at Against Monopoly points us to a NY Times/International Herald Tribune piece that talks about the rise of patented tax strategies. Yes, certain financial firms are patenting their tax strategies, and then claiming no one else can use them to reduce their taxes. In one case, a financial firm has actually sued the chairman of Aetna for daring to use its strategy to reduce taxes. The IHT article claims that 50 tax reduction patents have been granted and many more are pending. A recent article in Fortune claimed that there are another 81 tax reduction patents pending. That Fortune article points out why this is patently ridiculous: "tax advice hinges on interpretations of the law and... the law should be available to everyone equally, without the need to pay a licensing fee." Not so in our wonderful world of patents.

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  1. identicon
    mousepaw, 23 Oct 2006 @ 4:46pm

    Taxes in general

    I think if we knew more, or for that matter were involved in (as we're supposed to be) the WAY that our tax dollars were spent, taxes in general wouldn't be such a pain where the sun don't shine.

    I, for one, hate that our tax dollars are spent on companies who don't have to bid (or are the only bidder) and government mucky-mucks who get their personal properties reno'd at our expense; the ad-scam is a big thorn in our side...

    IF (ya, right) the PTB'S should ever let us in on their actual budgets (a.k.a. hidden agendas) we may not have half the resentment at having to pay taxes! As my brother once suggested, why don't they make everybody buy lottery tickets from them, instead of paying taxes. At least that way, we'd have some chance of recovering lost income by winning the jackpot. Who wouldn't buy tickets in anticipation of getting a ton of dough from the government?

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