Remember the patent for an excel spreadsheet that calculates a simple ROTH IRA conversion we covered here a few months ago?
It is slowly making its way through Congress as part of the major Patent reform legislation and we helped. MACPA was in DC in May and have been writing our representatives on this and other key issues.
We talked about a provision supported by the CPA Profession that would make those patents unenforceable due to the public interest. Imagine that everyone who needs a ROTH IRA conversion having to go through one CPA or lawyer. That does not make sense and that is why we asked for that exception to be put into the law.
H.R. 1249 The Patent Reform Act passed the House on June 23, 2011 by a vote of 304-117. This follows the victory in the Senate on March 9, 2011 when the Senate passed their version of the Patent Reform Act (aka The Amercia Invents Act) S.23 by a vote of 95-5.
The AICPA and the State CPA Societies have continued to urge our Congressional representatives to address this issue for the past six years or more. It is great to see our issue has made it this far this time around.
The next step is for either body of Congress to pass the other's language or for a conference committee to come up with a reconciliation. President Obama has called for this reform as critical to the US competitiveness in the global economy.
Check out this great overview of the Patent Process on the White Board at the Whitehouse White Blog.