Intellectual Property - A Simple Solution

Best Of, Intellectual Property Rights

There are too many corporations out there today, who expect their Intellectual Properties to be treated like Real Property.

Real Property is something that exists, that you can deed, that has a value.

Intellectual Property is a vague term that lumps together several different intangibles, Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks, even though they do not have anything like similar or comparable rules.

Perhaps we, the rest of the world have been ignoring the Property side of Intellectual Properties, for far too long.

Perhaps the best thing to do is simply treat Intellectual Properties like real properties, and tax them.

You currently are not taxed for patents you hold, nor for trademarks or copyrights you own.

Perhaps it’s time for that to change. Assess a value to these ‘most valuable’ intellectual properties, and then tax them, like physical property.

What? That patent that you claim is worth 100 Million dollars?

What’s that you say? You don’t want to pay 2% of the value of your Copyright, every year?

One of the first things this proposal would do would be to help drive the valuation of intellectual properties back to something more approaching reality, which would help in those court cases where copyright holders (or their representatives) claim some overinflated value for a copyright on a song written 35 years ago, and then claim that a single act of infringement is therefore worth $35,000 in damages.

Secondly, it might help to prevent the abuse of patents by companies who buy up patents, with no plans to ever produce a product, just so that they can litigate to their heart’s content.

If holding a stable of 500 patents, each optimistically valued at 1 billion dollars meant the company would have to pay property taxes of say $15 million per year, it would have the potential to seriously put the damper on that litigious, parasitic business model.

Especially if the intellectual properties being taxed were being held without being applied.

Own a patent, use it in your business, owe a tax rate of 0.5%, but if you own a patent, and you are not using it in your business, but holding it as part of a litigation scheme, pay a tax rate of 2.0% instead.

Let me know how this sounds to you.

One Response

  1. Axis  •  March 5, 2008 @12:42 am

    Very Nice
    Sounds like a great plan, also will help get rid of all of those stupid frivolus law suits by the RIAA. (by the way there have been several articles I have see lately that have been showing how the RIAA has not passed any of the profits from said law suits down to the artists.)

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