WHEREAS, on March 8, 2011, the United States Senate passed, on a 95-5 vote, Senate Bill 23, known as the American Invents Act, which, among other matters, is intended to stop the issuance of tax strategy patents;
WHEREAS, there is presently pending in the United States Congress patent reform legislation which is intended to stop the issuance of tax strategy patents;
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association is the oldest Bar Association in the United States and is recognized as one of the largest and most respected metropolitan Bar Associations in the world, which for more than two centuries has promoted justice, professional excellence and respect for the rule of law;
WHEREAS, a paramount goal of the Philadelphia Bar Association is to advance fair and uniform application of the tax laws to taxpayers, to promote the voluntary tax system in the United States and to provide for the continued access by all taxpayers to tax strategies that allow for efficient tax planning in their transactions and financial arrangements;
WHEREAS, tax strategy patents provide their owners with the right to exclude others from using tax strategies and financial arrangements that are tax efficient and comply with the tax laws, and may cause some taxpayers to incur greater tax liability than others similarly situated;
WHEREAS, it is fundamentally unfair to require a taxpayer to pay a royalty for the right to take advantage of a tax strategy authorized by Federal law;
WHEREAS, tax strategy patents expose practitioners to the risk of being named in a patent infringement suit;
WHEREAS, tax strategy patents do not represent an endorsement by the Internal Revenue Service that the patented tax strategy is consistent with the Internal Revenue Code, the Regulations promulgated thereunder or the rulings, administrative decisions or judicial decisions interpretive thereof and as a result may cause taxpayers to have false confidence in the validity of patented tax strategies; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association urges the United States Congress to support any pending or future proposed legislation which effectively bans the issuance and enforcement of tax strategy patents.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chancellor is hereby authorized to convey this Resolution to the United States Congress, and to otherwise disseminate this Resolution as the Chancellor deems appropriate.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: April 28, 2011