In recognition of Senator Patrick Leahy’s leadership on the comprehensive patent reform legislation that is moving through Congress, the Vermont Society of CPAs sponsored an ad in the Burlington Free Press.
The March 7 ad, co-sponsored by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, commended Senator Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, for including a provision on tax strategy patents strongly supported by the CPA profession and other public interest groups in the broader patent reform bill. “We appreciate your commitment to ensuring that the tax code is fair and accessible to everyone,” the ad read in part, and was co-signed by Vermont Society Executive Director & CEO Deb Riley and the executive director of VPIRG.
The Vermont Society has played a key role in the grassroots advocacy work that helped convince the U.S. Senate to include the tax strategy patents provision in the bill. Over the past two years, Vermont Society leaders and staff have written letters to Senator Leahy’s staff to explain and reinforce the profession’s position that tax strategy patents are unfair to taxpayers, effectively granting monopolies on forms of tax code compliance. Several AICPA key persons also reached out to Senator Leahy’s staff to answer questions and to help staff and the Senator understand how important this issue was to Vermont taxpayers and CPAs.
VSCPA diligence paid dividends for the profession, as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy shepherded his bill through the committee, and onto the Senate floor. “We worked hard, and it paid off,” said Riley. “Vermont Society leadership and CPAs across the state were committed to sharing our views with Senator Leahy and his staff.”
The U.S. Senate passed S. 23, The Patent Reform Act of 2011, on March 8 by a vote of 95 to 5. A similar bill, H.R. 1249, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on April 14 by a vote of 32 to 3. H.R. 1249 is expected to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives this summer.
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