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Congress Passes the America Invents Act; AICPA Praises Effort to Stop Tax Strategy Patents

September 13, 2011Congress has passed the America Invents Act, a comprehensive patent reform bill that includes language to stop the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from issuing patents for tax strategy methods.

“The Senate’s overwhelming passage today of H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, will stop the issuance of tax strategy patents and help protect taxpayers from lawsuits, royalties, and increasingly complicated tax compliance requirements.  The bill will also help to ensure that our tax code is fair and accessible to all.  No one should have a monopoly on a particular form of tax compliance," said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon.

The bill would give the U.S. patent system its first major overhaul since 1952 in hopes of fostering innovation and providing a boost to the job market. The bill is aimed at streamlining the patent process, reducing costly legal battles and giving the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the financial backing it needs to process patent applications in a timely fashion.

The bill would change the patent system in the U.S. from a "first-to-invent" system to the "first-inventor-to-file" system for patent applications. Many independent and small-scale inventors say it will put them at a disadvantage.

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