Volume 1 03-30-00 @ 11:21 PM(cst)
Plus -- The Quote of the Day
Here We Go!
|I remember the first time I saw David Brenner on Television. He appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson (how I miss Johnny) and he preformed an act I will never forget. He told about one of his first jobs as an amusement park ride operator. He operated the roller coaster and he described how every new rider reacted. Just before the ride began, the riders would look at one another and say, "Here we go." Then, off they went.|
I tell you that story because that is exactly how I feel today. This is the first issue of it-lawyer.com\/newsletter, then I will be off on the roller coaster of publishing a newsletter. And, like a roller coaster, I know that in between all the fun there will be some moments of fear. But, it is the fear that makes the rest of the ride fun.
So, now that I am strapped in, "HERE WE GO."
PTO Announces New Review Process
|Ever since the State Street decision came down, the volume and type of patent applications have overwhelmed the PTO. The review process for Internet-Based Business Methods, in particular, has left much to be desired. Common methods of doing business in the "real world" have qualified for patent protection, merely because the process was moved to the Internet.|
There are many examples, the most widely known is Priceline.com's patent on reverse auctions on the Internet. Priceline.com did not "invent" the reverse auction business process. They were, however, the first to be granted a patent for that process on the Internet.
Allowing patents for processes or business methods for which there are many prior art examples only works to price out entrepreneurs and, with them, their new ideas. Once a patent is granted the patent is presumed valid. Fighting that presumption can cost a huge amount of money to challenge. A second look in the process, by a qualified examiner, will go a long way ensuring the continued BOOM of the Internet.
Don't Tax the Net
|Recently, the major retailers met with congress trying to convince them that a sales tax should be imposed on all Internet sales. "We need to level the playing field," they said. In a surprising move, Congress disagreed. Maybe they saw through the phony reason. There are three good reasons that Congress should not tax the net. |
First, in Quill, the United States Supreme Court held that out of state retailers need not pay the state sales tax of the buyer's home state. They recognized that to do so would be to impose enormous burdens on out of state sellers, over which the State had not personal jurisdiction. Catalogue retailers have been selling products tax-free for more than one hundred years, and the nation has survived.
Second, Internet retailers are still at a disadvantage, despite their tax-free status. Out of state retailers face shipping costs that are far greater than the typical state sales tax. Internet retailers do benefit from the efficiency created by "just in time" warehousing, however, time marches on and new methods arise. The buyers should not be required to pay a higher price merely to give the giant retailers a "level playing field." In addition, the added cost and burden of paper word would bury most small businesses, leaving the major retailers free to charge whatever price they choose.
Finally, because of the Quill decision, the only practical way to tax all Internet and Bricks and Mortar equally, is to impose a federal national sales tax. I for one do not wish to give our National Government any more taxing power than they currently have.
For all of these reasons, I ask you to go to WorldNetDaily.com and sign their on-line petition.
Quote of the Day
|The rise of an electronic medium that disregards geographical boundaries throws the law into disarray by creating entirely new phenomena that need to become the subject of clear legal rules but that cannot be governed, satisfactorily, by any current territorially base sovereign.|
==>David Johnson & David Post
NDR Information Services
All Rights Reserved