Tax Patents - Method of Optimizing a Reduced Tax Portfolio
Well, the time has come yet again. Dreaded tax day. Accounting and investment firms now have another concern, potential patent infringement. Interestingly, a search through the USPTO database for issued patents relating to tax minimization showed over 50 hits. Yes, patents for minimizing taxes!
A Tax minimization patent would likely fall into a group of patents known as business method patents. Yes, in the United States business methods are patentable as long as they meet the new, useful and nonobviousness test for patentability. One of the most popular business method patents is the 1-Click patent used by Amazon for automatic payment of merchandise (which is currently under re-examination).
Many countries do not allow the patenting of pure business methods. For instance in Europe, there must be a technical contribution to the state of the art. The U.S. does not have this technical contribution requirement.
Frequently business method patents are not pure business methods but instead are a hybrid including a business method in combination with a computer program. These are commonly referred to as computer implemented inventions. However, mere automation of a known business method probably won't get you very far.
You can read more about business method patents and the patent process at our patent web page.