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?