Coalition Opposes Polis Amendment to Patent Bill; Charges It Would Create Major Loophole in Bill’s Tax Strategy Patents Provision

June 21, 2011

A broad-interest coalition opposing Colorado Democrat Jared Polis’ amendment to the patent reform bill has written to Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives urging defeat of the amendment.  The House is expected to consider H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, on June 22.

“We write to call your attention to an amendment by Congressman Jared Polis that would create a major loophole in the bill’s provision on tax strategy patents,” the letter said. “We strongly oppose the Polis amendment and ask you to work with your colleagues to ensure that it is defeated.”  Organizations signing the letter included consumer, public interest, financial planning, charitable giving and taxpayer rights groups.

The opponents believe that tax strategy patents present a serious and growing problem for taxpayers and their advisers.  “We believe that it is bad public policy to grant someone a monopoly over a form of compliance with the Federal tax code, and no taxpayer should be subject to paying royalties or defending themselves in lawsuits simply for using a legal way to comply with the tax code,” the letter said.  “Our tax laws are already complicated enough without requiring taxpayers and their advisers also to become experts in patent law.”

The coalition pointed out that the amendment proposed by Congressman Polis’ amendment would allow 160+ additional tax strategy patent applications to be granted, even after enactment of H.R. 1249.  “This could potentially more than double the number of these bad patents from the approximately 140 that already exist,” the letter said.

“Everyone deserves fair and equal access to the tax code and there should be no last minute loopholes for pending but unissued tax strategy patents.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

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