USPTO Deems Offshoring U.S. Tax Return Prep Jobs Worthy of U.S. Patent Protection

from the patently-silly dept

theodp writes "The CEO of Xpitax has been awarded U.S. Patent No. 7,756,761 for Tax return outsourcing and systems for protecting data, which covers 'systems, methods, and various tools that facilitate the outsourcing of [U.S.] tax return preparation services to a servicing group outside of the country.' There is a need, explains the patent, 'to outsource tax return preparation services to India, to thereby reduce the per-return labor cost experienced by the accounting firm.' The patent proposes 'using PC anywhere or Citrix' to help scratch that itch.
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Filed Under: offshoring, patents, tax prep

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jul 2010 @ 8:26am

    (Kinda off topic but related to patents)

    "Astronomers are known for being relatively open with their data, and as a community, they have fairly well-established norms with respect to release of data, sharing of telescope resources, etc. Nevertheless, this does not make them immune from the occasional dispute or controversy over data sharing practices, particularly with very novel or valuable data. The New York Times reports on one of those rare occasions when disputes over data sharing norms do arise in this community–in this case over the existence of extra-terrestrial planets."

    Th e reason why astronomers tend to be more open about their information, when compared to other sciences, is because most of what astronomers discover has no foreseeable short term commercial value. Who cares exactly what minerals were found on the moon and in what quantities, how can I personally benefit from this information. However, with other more useful fields secrecy tends to be more prevalent and whenever important discoveries are made, ones that humanity would tend to consider more significant, secrecy again tends to prevail.

    One alleged purpose of patents is to encourage transparency; however, note the reality of the matter is very different. Patents seem to do little to actually promote openness and instead encourage the acquisition of frivolous monopoles by entities that have spent little to nothing on R&D, such as patent trolls.

    To quote PatentFreedom

    "As of April 1, 2010, PatentFreedom has identified and profiled over 325 distinct NPEs (a number which continues to increase). Since 1985, these NPEs have been involved in litigation with nearly 4,500 different operating companies in over 3,100 actions. And the pace of activity is clearly increasing. Nearly 75% of the suits between these NPEs and operating companies were filed since 2003."

    These are entities that have conducted no R&D and have contributed nothing beyond their ability to restrict others of their rights.

    Patents should at least encourage people to invest in their inventions and invest substantial sums of money in new R&D instead of merely monopolizing ideas that others can independently come up with based on existing R&D. but patents don't serve a noble cause, they only sere the purpose of restricting invention and innovation for personal gain.

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