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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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