While we don't normally rush to make it easier for the rich to pay less tax, the precedent is a bad one. People should be treated the same under the law, and shouldn't have to pay a licensing fee for the privilege. Congress needs to make spurious patents easier to challenge across the board, and should consider clarifying what may be patented. Recent technological advances raise questions about how patents apply to genes and life forms, or what standard should cover old business models on the Internet.
Since 1998 (the year of the CAFC decision in State Street), the U.S. Patent Office [USPTO] has issued patents to 49 tax strategies. At least 60 more are pending, the New York Times reports, a development that concerns tax attorneys and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Quoting an article by Paul Devinksy et al., accountingweb states: [Tax patents] would be an example of “government issued barbed wire”, the authors say, preventing some taxpayers from getting equal treatment under the tax code.