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08.06.15

Political Battles Over Patent ‘Reform’ in the United States and Tax on Nonexistent Things

Posted in Africa, America, Asia, Patents at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“People naively say to me, ‘If your program is innovative, then won’t you get the patent?’” —Richard Stallman

Writing
Software development is NOT writing English sentences

Summary: Dealing with some of the hard (but soft, or invisible) issues in the US, where patents on abstract things are commonly misused for trolling/blackmail and abstract ideas have state tax associated with them

THE political landscape in the United States makes it increasingly unlikely that the patent system will be reformed in anyone’s favour, only in corporations’ favour (and corporations are not people). It is abundantly clear that the current proposals/bills on the table are unfit for purpose if the goal is really fixing the patent system. We already wrote over a dozen articles about this and today we present some of the latest finds.

“Patents threaten access to vital medicine” says a headline from South Africa, part of BRICS. It looks like South Africa is starting to view things like India does (I is India and S is South Africa in BRICS). Populist nations realise that many patents are unjust or even evil because monopoly is not more important than lives. South Africa and India both disallow patents on software, too.

“Populist nations realise that many patents are unjust or even evil because monopoly is not more important than lives.”What about the US? Well, as we showed three days ago (“GOP Media Deception, Healthwashing Patents”), the healthwashing tactics are being used to curtail and eliminate any potential of a reform. It’s the “PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE” sort of blackmail (if patent reform is passed).

GOP media (i.e. corporations) has played a big role in lobbying against patent reform, but oddly enough, someone called Mytheos Holt, writing in a GOP-leaning site, tackles what’s titled “The Three Dumbest “Conservative” Objections to Patent Reform”. To quote the key argument: “You have to give the enemies of patent reform credit: They do love to hide behind the idea that they’re defending the free market. To hear them tell it, in fact, they’re the only thing standing between America and a lawless jungle where Google and Apple can step on inventors with impunity and then laugh in their faces as the courts’ hands are tied.”

Here is a useful and long list of reform supporters: “Patent reform enjoys a long tradition of intellectual support from a wide range of right-leaning think tanks and advocacy groups. Conservative and libertarian groups that have advocated for patent reform in one form or another include Americans for Tax Reform, the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the MercatusCenter, Americans for Prosperity, Frontiers of Freedom, the Independent Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Mises Institute, Institute for Liberty, Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Institute for Policy Innovation, the Latino Coalition, Independent Women’s Forum, Lincoln Labs,the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Individual Freedom, American Commitment, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the Discovery Institute, Generation Opportunity, Citizen Outreach and others.”

With so much support from so many groups, how come there is still no change? See Think Progress with its new article “Why Patent Trolling Is So Hard To Fix”. As Think Progress puts it: “Software developers could have a hard time getting their next big idea patented thanks to new rules the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued, making some inventions, particularly innovative software and medical devices, unpatentable. ”

Think Progress makes it sound like a bad thing. We wrote about this an hour ago and it is definitely good news. It’s why so-called ‘reform’ might not matter after all. It’s already happening owing to the SCOTUS (Alice and § 101).

“It’s a fantasy, and just like all fantasies, sooner or later it will get shattered by reality.”Meanwhile, as revealed by Accounting Today, lobbyists’ media [1, 2], and Wall Street media [1, 2, 3, 4], the US want to introduce a ‘lower’ tax on invisible things, as if that makes any sense at all. The US is taxing immaterial things, ‘stuff’ like mere thoughts. A much later article from lawyers’ media framed this as “Tax Breaks”, stating that “proposed legislation would enable a company to deduct 71 percent of income derived from qualifying IP or 71 percent of their taxable income, if less.”

This helps prove how crazy a system we’re dealing with here, where mere ideas (misleadingly names “property”, the P in “IP” or “IPR”) are treated as taxable and the corporate media now celebrates tax “discounts” on ideas. The Alice case, which tackles a lot of these abstract patents, justifies the common reference to the case: “Alice in Wonderland”. It’s a fantasy, and just like all fantasies, sooner or later it will get shattered by reality. No country in the world deserves such a rubbish patent system.

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