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IBA: Indiana Patent Owners Not Interested in Saving Money?

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By Cedric A. D’Hue, D’Hue Law, LLC

Indiana Code § 6-3-2-21.7 aims to encourage innovation by giving Indiana entrepreneurs and small businesses a break on Indiana state income tax. Several articles and blog posts initially notified the public about this unique Indiana tax benefit. A recent posting argued that all indications suggest this law is underutilized, essentially saying that Indiana patent owners are leaving money on the table. While I agree with some of the initial indications, I am encouraged by increased use of the law.

In my devotion to this law, I researched Indiana-based patents which may qualify for the Indiana patent income tax exemption. My search criteria involved identifying U.S. utility patents issued in the year 2008 to at least one Indiana individual or Indiana based business. My search criteria sought to exclude patents owned by large Indiana businesses or non-Indiana based businesses.

From this labor of love, my informal research identified two hundred and thirty seven (237) relevant Indiana based patents. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the law is underutilized when there are 237 potentially relevant patents and only ten Indiana taxpayers taking advantage of the law.

There are several reasons why so many patents might qualify for the exemption but only ten Indiana taxpayers took advantage of the law. First, it is unknown how many Indiana patent owners are aware of the tax law advantage. Second, I don’t know if each of the ten Indiana taxpayers utilized one or more patents when claiming their exemption.

Several factors might cause Indiana patent owners to not take advantage of this tax law. Not all U.S. patents immediately generate income. Another reason could be the cost associated with compliance of this law. For example, determination of fair market value of the licensing fees or other income generated from the sale of a product covered by the patent could easily exceed the tax savings provided by the first years of patent income. Intangible asset valuation firms may choose to charge $7,500 to $8,000 for an uncertified patent valuation and $20,000 to $25,000 for a certified patent valuation. A third reason is there can be a several year lag between filing a patent application and issuance of a U.S. patent. After notification about this unique tax benefit, Indiana entrepreneurs or small business owners may have filed for patent protection but have yet to receive an issued U.S. utility patent.

As illustrated in the Table, the sum of claimed exemptions almost doubled from 2008 to 2009 during one of the most challenging eIBA-chart-2col.jpgconomic environments since The Great Depression. The increase has been encouraging. In my opinion the almost doubling indicates increased utilization in this unique Indiana tax benefit. I am interested to see if a pattern emerges and the increase continues upward for 2010.

In conclusion, the initial number of Indiana taxpayers utilizing this unique tax benefit seems to be small. Immediate and optimal use of this law would provide maximum benefit. Realistically, we may not see the full impact of this unique Indiana law for several years. Let us make the most of this opportunity by: (1) ensuring that all Indiana entrepreneurs and small business owners are aware of this exemption, (2) increasing our reporting on this law and continuing to evaluate its benefit to Indiana, and (3) assisting Indiana patent owners to take advantage of this unique tax benefit.•

Cedric D’Hue is a patent attorney and sole member of D’Hue Law LLC (www.dhuelaw.com). The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.
 

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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