Saturday, October 21, 2006

Patently absurb

This one looks like an Onion headline, or perhaps a well propagated hoax. Sadly, it appears not to be. (Somebody please tell me it is...) It appears the fallout from a 1998 decision to allow business patents (like the infamous 1 click patent), is starting to come home.

From Herald Tribune: Lawyers have come up with one more way to make life difficult for taxpayers: Now you may face a patent infringement suit if you use a tax strategy that someone else thought of first. ... At one conference where tax strategies were discussed, participants later got a letter warning that using one idea mentioned would be in violation of a patent.

This will almost certainly be an issue for the courts to decide - my hunch is rather than realizing that business patents were probably a bad idea in the first place, they'll just create some convoluted loopholes exempting patents which may violate consitutional rights, creating an even more complex legal system.

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