Members of the Senate have voted 95-5 to pass S. 23, the America Invents Act bill – a measure that could affect insurers’ and planners’ ability to patent business methods and tax management strategies.
Section 14 of S. 23 would block applicants from trying to patent “any strategy for reducing, avoiding, or deferring tax liability.”
Section 18 of the bill would have the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office set up a “transitional post-grant review proceeding for review of the validity of covered business methods.”
The lead sponsors of the bill are Sens. Patrick Leahy, Vt.; Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. The bill would give the patent office more pricing flexibility.
Grassley and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., have championed the ban on tax strategy patents, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., an opponent of business method patents, has backed the business method patent review program.