Monday, April 26, 2010

More unintended consequences

In August 2009, IPBiz, in the post
Unintended consequences of Clunkers program?
, likened the unintended consequences of "Cash for Clunkers" program to the unintended consequences of the USPTO's "reject, reject, reject" philosophy.

Another example of the government not working through something is found in new banking regulations; from the NY Times:

Stringent new banking regulations — aimed both at curbing tax evasion and, under the Patriot Act, preventing money from flowing to terrorist groups — have inadvertently made it harder for some expats to keep bank accounts in the United States and in some cases abroad.

Some U.S.-based banks have closed expats’ accounts because of difficulty in certifying that the holders still maintain U.S. addresses, as required by a Patriot Act provision.

“It seems the new anti-terrorist rules are having unintended effects,” Daniel Flynn, who lives in Belgium, wrote in a letter quoted by the Americans Abroad Caucus in the U.S. Congress in correspondence with the Treasury Department.


In response, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner wrote Ms. Maloney on Feb. 24 that “nothing in U.S. financial law and regulation should make it impossible for Americans living abroad to access financial services here in the United States.”

But banks, Treasury officials note, are free to ignore that advice.

One could also say "nothing in the proposed S.515 should make it impossible for small entities to obtain, and defend patents, in view of the post-grant review (aka opposition) procedure. But small entities are free to ignore that advice."


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