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, 22 Jul 2010 @ 8:59pm

    This is one of those cases where even I am scratching my head wondering how converting a "paper process" to an "on line" process, even when tax preparation personnel are located outside the US, claims new, useful and unobvious subject matter.

    Nonetheless, one needs to read the file history of prosecution before the USPTO before arriving at a meaningful conclusion as to the propriety of this patent having been issued.

    It seems likely that the application that led to the patent was prosecuted to conclusion prior to both the CAFC and the Supreme Court weighing in on business method patents, and particularly since the patent does appear to fall within what is generally categozied as an "abstract idea" under then existing (and even now still existing) judicial precedent.

    Frankly, and based upon my experience, this is one of those patents that would almost certainly never be asserted against third parties. Perhaps its filing and issuance was more motivated by having something to hang on an "ego wall".

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