Monday, November 10, 2008

Abuse of the System

I don't know about you, but I tend to keep an eye on the technical news. Every once in a while, something passes by that I have a hard time believing. Today is one of those days. Of course, it involves everyone's second most favorite villain (only because Microsoft won that race long ago). Without further ado, I give you the Halliburton of the day as reported in Slashdot :

Halliburton, the company many folks know as Dick Cheney's previous employer, has apparently taken an interest in methods of patent trolling. In fact, according to Techdirt, the company has applied for a patent on patent trolling. Specifically, it's applied for a patent on the process of finding a company that protected an invention via trade secret, figuring out what that secret is, patenting it ... and then suing the original company.

So there you have it. A patent designed to raid other people's patentable stuff and then legally rape them with their own tools. What I have begun referring to as a Halliburton.

I have been through the process of applying for a "process" patent. I cannot believe this kind of abuse of the patent system will acceptable to the intellectual property community. The USPTO may very well grant the patent, but I hope that the legal battles involved in enforcement would favor the original trade secret organization. I understand that protection of an invention via trade secret is open to loss by disclosure. Not only losing the crown jewel, but having to pay royalties to a raider who used this process for using your own crown jewel just seems wrong.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Addendum - if you hover your pointer over the phrase "applied for a patent on patent trolling", you can click to see the Techdirt article.

    Seems like blogger's block quote shows the link form in preview, but then sort of hides it on the production page.


You know you want to ... so just do it!!!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin