Posts Tagged: "taxes"

Amazon’s Big Brother Technologies: Tracking Life Milestones and Predicting a User’s Future Location

With data privacy concerns at the forefront in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, it seems that Amazon isn’t completely in the clear when it comes to the security of consumer data on their platforms. Recent reports indicate that Amazon’s Mechanical Turk online worker marketplace was another platform targeted by the data collecting quiz application developed by Aleksandr Kogan, the Cambridge app developer behind the Facebook scandal. Data privacy concerns have also surfaced surrounding Amazon Web Services cloud platforms including inadvertent breaches of web-monitoring data stored on Amazon cloud services by private companies and the Pentagon alike. Amazon servers also collect voice recordings from consumers using its Alexa digital personal assistant which are also at risk of falling into the wrong hands unless a consumer manually deletes recordings through the Alexa app.

Transfer Pricing Basics for IP Professionals

Transfer pricing refers to the prices charged for goods, services, and intellectual property (IP) between or among legal entities of a corporation, including a parent company and its domestic and foreign subsidiaries and other controlled entities (each entity a “Taxpayer”)… Many transfer pricing analyses are nuanced in nature, relying upon datasets, models, computations, comparisons, assumptions, and interpretations. When controlled entities are domiciled in respective different jurisdictions, multiple transfer pricing systems may apply. Transfer pricing determinations may substantially impact Taxpayers’ tax burden and profitability. In other words, though challenging to perform, transfer pricing analyses offer opportunities to obtain more favorable tax treatment.

Got IP? Get out. For investors thinking of selling, acting in the next few days is critical.

As of the date of this publication, the US House of Representatives and the Senate have passed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” as reconciled by the conference committee. Now that the President has signed the Republican tax bill into law, IP owners may find the tax bill will impact sales of certain intellectual property… Given that the Committee Bill directly contradicts itself with respect to the tax treatment of the sale of patents by taxpayers whose personal efforts created such property, it is unclear how this Bill will be implemented. It is unclear how gains or losses on a sale of self-created assets by a taxpayer who created a patent will be treated.

Tax Reform will Harm Inventors, High Tech Start-ups

More disturbing than the harmful effects the proposed changes would have – this signals a continuing approach toward patent rights as not being a property right, which contradicts the Patent Act and centuries of precedent. Indeed, the government’s destruction of the once great U.S. patent system is built upon a simple, yet scary philosophy: Where it matters, no one in government actually considers a patent to be a property right. If a patent is not a property right, a patent can be treated however the political winds blow (or political money flows). And that is exactly what has happened. So why not tax it more?

Tax Bill Proposes Repeal of Capital Gains Treatment for Patents

The rule treating the transfer of a patent prior to its commercial exploitation as being available for long-term capital gains treatment would be repealed… Obviously, it is disheartening to see Republican leadership move to treat patents in this way, which suggests they do not view patents as a private property right. Not viewing patents as a private property right has become a growing and disturbing trend.

Diversion of USPTO user fees is a tax on innovation

User fees fund our patent system. The patent system turns ideas into assets. Those assets are used to secure financing and gain access to markets. Financing and market access fuel the rise of new industries, businesses, and jobs. Regrettably, however, those user fees are frequently diverted to fund other, unrelated government agencies and programs, which amounts to a tax on innovation.

Push for online sales tax continues at state and federal levels

Some states have decided that they can’t wait for a federal response on the collection of online sales tax, prompting them to enact their own measures. In Utah, where less than one percent of taxpayers actually pay the use tax they owe the state for Internet retail transactions, some state lawmakers have collaborated on crafting a bill that would give the state more power in collecting sales tax from online retailers, with or without a physical presence within the state. In South Carolina, January 1st of this year brought about the end of a tax break offered to Amazon for building a distribution center in that state. The collection of sales tax from Amazon sales to South Carolina consumers is expected to bring in about $13.8 million in additional tax revenue through 2016, according to projected revenues released by South Carolina’s tax department. The distribution centers built by Amazon serve as the physical in-state nexus which requires it to collect sales tax from South Carolina consumers.

Hillary Clinton agrees patents be suspended until corporations pay their taxes

Last week in Iowa Hillary Clinton promised to use patents owned by giant technology companies as leverage to get them to pay higher taxes. If you listen to the actual exchange between Clinton and a supporter Clinton agreed that patents should be suspended until companies repatriate foreign profits held in offshore accounts. A rule that tied paying taxes, or repatriation of foreign profits to the United States, to obtaining a patent would almost certainly create an extraordinary disincentive to seek a patent in the United States, which itself would lead to a nearly unimaginable parade of horribles at a time that the U.S. economy is nearly wholly reliant on innovation and technology.

The Advantages of Enacting a Patent Box Regime

The exact terms of a patent box will vary depending on what the drafter is trying to promote. For example, the tax preference could require that the profits be derived only from a patent secured in that country or that the patented product be the result of domestic R&D. The Boustany-Neal draft legislation is called the “innovation box” and would impose an effective tax rate of 10% on all innovation box profits by creating a deduction equal to 71% of a corporate taxpayer’s innovation box profit.

America Needs a National Manufacturing Policy

I don’t believe the federal government needs to coordinate a program or embark upon studies by some blue-ribbon panel. What the federal government needs is to institute a meaningful and coherent National Manufacturing Policy that offers tax incentives to manufacturers in the U.S. The federal government also needs to substantially lessen regulatory burdens. Through simple legislative reforms America could be made to be extremely competitive. Factor in that U.S. workers are dedicated and produce high-quality products, that the products don’t need to be shipped across the world to distribute and that civil unrest is extraordinarily unlikely in the U.S., and it is easy to envision a future where manufacturing returns to America to some appreciable degree.

Obamacare and the Supremes, A Patent Attorney’s Perspective

A method to reduce the national debt comprising a “Skinny Jeans Tax” whereby… Does anyone think they look good in skinny jeans? Where on earth are the fashion police when you need them? In any event, those paying the “Fat Tax” certainly wouldn’t be caught dead wearing skinny jeans, and why would anyone who can actually fit into skinny jeans want to demonstrate for all the world to see that they are little more than a frail package of skin and bones? Being too skinny is just as unhealthy, if not even more unhealthy, than being too fat. Because your Congress and President care about you so much they will initiate a “Skinny Jeans Tax” that gives you incentive to eat enough not to look like a fool. This tax comes in two forms. In the “phase in years” it will apply only to those who actually buy skinny jeans. In out years, after fully phased in, it will apply to anyone who could fit into skinny jeans, regardless of purchase or violation of common sense protocols.

A Manufacturing Strategy for 2012: Keeping Jobs & IP in the U.S.

At his speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Commerce Secretary Bryson outlined his top three priorities to help American businesses “build it here and sell it everywhere,” focusing on supporting advanced manufacturing, increasing our exports, and attracting more investment to America from all over the world. The key to emerging from the Great Recession is, of course, manufacturing. Manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. in favor of more business friendly climates in other countries, taking with them U.S. jobs and U.S. intellectual property. But moving into a Presidential election year will government be able to do anything that is at all likely to help?

Economic Signs Paint Bleak Picture for the Future

Small businesses are the backbone of the nation’s economy and those that are most likely to engage in job creation. Unfortunately, the small businesses surveyed tell a tale of little or no job creation over the next 1 to 3 years, and in fact suggest there will be more layoffs coming. The respondents see too much uncertainty in Washington, DC, too many regulations and a number of other matters (i.e., the deficit, debt, health care and taxes) as significant impediments to job creation. This on the heels of a disappointing jobs report for June 2010, downward revisions of the number of jobs created in April and May, and unemployment rising to 9.2%, this Chamber survey only piles on the continuing terrible news for the economy. With Congress bickering over the obvious — namely that we simply cannot spend money we don’t have and need to start spending less than we bring in to cut the deficit — it doesn’t seem there is likely to be any good news on the horizon.

U.S. Patent Office Pays More Taxes Than General Electric

General Electric was not the only large U.S. corporation not to pay taxes. According to Citizens for Tax Justice, General Electric had some company. In fact, American Electric Power, Dupont, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, FedEx and Honeywell all had tax rates between -0.7 percent and -9.2 percent for the stretch between 2008 to 2010. On the other hand, the United States Patent and Trademark Office continues to have user funds siphoned off, making the USPTO a much larger taxpayer than the largest U.S. corporations.

Non Sequitur: We Need to Go Back to the Clinton Tax Rates

For goodness sake, innovation is the key to a better economy, not raising taxes! Simply stated, taxing more at a time when individuals and businesses are doing less well is not the same as taxing more when individuals and businesses are doing better year after year. In one scenario the tide is rising and will remain high, although slightly less so with increased payments to the government. In the second scenario the tide is already lower and becomes even lower still with additional financial burdens owed to the government. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize there is a fundamental difference between taxing a rising economy and taxing a falling, stagnant or sluggish economy.