Investors Need a Patent Tax
At the heart of the problem is money. The patent office is understaffed and overworked, says Gregory Aharonian, whose Web site is called BustPatents.com. It can cost hundreds of thousands to research a single software patent and there are 40,000 new ones approved each year.
Last year's America Invests Act gave the patent office some more money, but it didn't address the key problem -- standards for issuing patents. And it didn't provide enough money to blow through the backlog, nor did it assure that courts will uphold patents because they were rightly given in the first place.
Patent holders aren't getting the services they need to profit from their inventions. So I'd like to join Besson with a modest proposal.
A patent tax.
So here's what I suggest. A 1% tax on the royalties of all patents, with current patent filing fees waived. The money would not go to the government, but to a corporation controlled by the Patent Office.
That's plenty of money to do all that needs to be done.
I know this will be condemned as socialism . It's just the opposite. I'm talking about putting a firm thumb on the side of the patent holder, once a patent is issued, with all the resources needed to monetize a patent, and all the assurance possible that said patent is valid.
Once a patent is registered, and only if the patent is registered, it becomes subject to the tax. But it also becomes subject to these benefits.
You don't think that's worth 1% of your proceeds? That's less than any credit-card discount rate you pay Visa or MasterCard. It's one-tenth of what many states charge poor people in sales tax. And it's not going to the general fund. It's money that's directed toward increasing the return on granted patents.
It's an investment. Plus, since it's not going directly into the patent office, you have a mechanism that might be used to extend the regime to other countries. Imagine, internationally recognized patents, and a one-stop shop for intellectual property.