House Judiciary Committee acts against patenting tax planning techniques

On July 18, the House Judiciary Committee approved a patent reform bill (H.R. 1908) that included a provision making tax planning techniques unpatentable. The provides that a patent couldn't be obtained for “a tax planning method”—a plan, strategy, technique, or scheme that's designed to reduce, minimize, or defer a taxpayer's tax liability, or that when implemented has that effect. However, an unpatentable tax planning method wouldn't include the use of tax preparation software or other tools used solely to perform or model mathematical calculations or prepare tax or information returns. The provision would cover tax planning with regard to any federal, state, county, city, municipality, or other governmental levy, assessment, or imposition (whether measured by income, value, or otherwise).