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Halliburton Applies For Patent-Trolling Patent 244

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the meta-evil dept.
An anonymous reader writes "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. Hopefully, the patent office rejects this patent, because I somehow doubt that Halliburton is trying to get the patent as a way to block others from patent trolling."
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Halliburton Applies For Patent-Trolling Patent

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  • This (Score:5, Funny)

    by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde@@@gmail...com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:00PM (#25708657) Journal

    This is hilarious on SOOO many levels. I don't even know who to root for in this story! Help me Slashdot, should I go for Hallburton, the Patent Office, the trolls?

    • Re:This (Score:5, Interesting)

      by crypticedge (1335931) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:03PM (#25708719)

      The first case i'd support Halliburton for. Think of it, they get this patent, and anyone who trolls patents are in violation.

      Its a self obsoleting patent. Eventually they will bankrupt all the other trolls and have little left but hang up their hats.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm hoping they will run around in circles until they turn into a puddle of butter...

      • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards (940851) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:41PM (#25709481)

        I doubt it, more likely they'll just take a small piece of each settlement as a licensing fee.

        But, it's not like nobody saw this one coming so I'd suspect that it'll get blocked on the grounds of the inherent obviousness of it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by srussia (884021)

        Its a self obsoleting patent. Eventually they will bankrupt all the other trolls and have little left but hang up their hats.

        Goedel strikes again! Hooray!

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Idle hope. There's *far* too much prior art to ever get this patent approved.

        OTOH, it *is* the US we're talking about, and Halliburton has a *real* big pile of cash.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ignavus (213578)

        anyone who trolls patents are in violation.

        No, anyone ELSE who trolls patents is in violation.

        Halliburton themselves could have a field day trolling the whole marketplace with patents.

        Some of us fear that that would be their aim.

    • Re:This (Score:5, Funny)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:04PM (#25708751)
      This makes me so mad I just wanna shoot someone in the face.
      • Re:This (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:38PM (#25709429)

        I already have a patent on angry face shooting, please do something else. I might sue you.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Hurricane78 (562437)

          Yeah, but I invented it an my secret lab in my evil underground lair, and you stole it, patented it and sued me.

          So prepare to get sued by Halliburton for it! Oh, and if you live in another country with some resources... prepare to get invaded. :P

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Atario (673917)

          But how broad is your patent?

          Have you covered miffed face shooting?

          How about winging someone's face instead of a direct hit?

          What about the shooting medium? Birdshot? Buckshot? Fifty-cal? Arrows? Crossbow bolts? Throwing knives? Spooge?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by SombreReptile (455564)

        This must be why Dick Cheney shot his lawyer in the face.

    • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Corpuscavernosa (996139) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:05PM (#25708773)
      Seriously hilarious. Though as long as it's not illegal, and it meets all the 102 requirements and is not obvious, it will probably be granted.

      Maybe the best we can hope for (besides dying in our sleep) is that this kind of slap-in-the-face application can spur some of the much needed reform.

      • I'd disagree about the "not obvious" part.

        I recall a LOT of posts here on Slashdot about "well I'm patenting patent trolling" or words to that effect every time a patent troll story comes up. Unfortunately I cannot find any at the moment.

      • Re:This (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:15PM (#25708977) Homepage Journal

        Though as long as it's not illegal, and it meets all the 102 requirements and is not obvious, it will probably be granted.

        It may or may not be legal; the patent office and the courts have (finally) started to take a dim view of "business method" and other types of patents that circumvent the original intent of the patent system.

        It is obvious, and there exists substantial prior art -- if not, people wouldn't have immediately had a ready-made phrase ("patent troll") to describe what the patent covers.

        No doubt buried in the requirements is something that Halliburton hopes will make this bullshit business method patent different from all the other bullshit business method patents, but I'm actually hopeful that they'll get the smackdown they deserve.

        • Why? I'm hoping that they get this granted. It won't make the situation worse for anyone in the tech sector who is already experiencing this kind of crap. After all, having a patent on this process don't make it more legitimate... unless they're going to sue other patent trolls for violation.

          Then, it is truly a thing of beauty, and should be widely applauded.

          • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:48PM (#25709617) Homepage Journal

            It sounds like you're assuming that Halliburton will indiscriminately go after anyone who violates their patent, thus making patent trolls everywhere tremble in fear. I don't think it will work out that way. What seems more likely is that they'll hold onto it, using it only against their competitors when it's to their advantage and having little effect on the world of patent trolling as a whole -- and meanwhile, setting yet another precedent for the granting of truly horrible patents. The best thing is for this and every other business method patent (and software patent, and patent on a naturally occurring gene, etc.) to be denied until people get the message that patents are intended to cover physical inventions, and nothing else.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hoggoth (414195)

            This will make nothing better.

            > sue other patent trolls for violation

            They aren't going to sue them, they are going to charge a licensing fee.

        • by hey! (33014)

          Well... you are supposed to make a good faith effort to describe prior art in your patent application.

          This makes the existence of such a "business method" questionable. An infringement suit under a patent obtained in the manner described amounts to using the court for purposes of defrauding the defendant. The only way to argue such a suit is to deliberately lie to the court in your arguments. If this business method patent were granted, I don't see how you could claim infringement damages under it, becau

  • Sorry... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aix (218662) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:02PM (#25708689) Homepage
    No, they can't do this because it violates MY patent on patenting patent trolling!
  • hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MorderVonAllem (931645) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:03PM (#25708735)
    ...I would think that the very act of finding "prior art" (the very fact they found an invention) as described in this system would invalidate any patent attempt of the trade-secret...
    • You'd think so, but no.

      Prior art is the absolute weakest blockade to patent trolling. It's the most logical, the most obvious, the most fair. Of course it gets knocked to shit.

    • Re:hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheMCP (121589) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:37PM (#25709419) Homepage

      Moreover, their attempt to patent this procedure would seem to indicate that they were knowingly violating prior art, in fact intentionally doing so, which would seem to imply that they could be charged with fraud or something similar.

      I'm surprised they filed this patent attempt, and that their lawyers let it happen - it's like saying "I would like explicit government recognition of my plans to violate the law to ensure that when I do so everyone will recognize exactly what I did."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Emb3rz (1210286)
        Prior art [wikipedia.org] is not something you can violate. It is not a statute, or a restriction, or a part of a patent.
        • From TLWA (Score:5, Informative)

          by Emb3rz (1210286) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:57PM (#25709809) Homepage

          Although patents normally go to the first inventor under a first-to-file system, an inventor who keeps the information secret or just does not publish generally loses the right to the patent and also does not establish prior art. Without prior art, a later inventor can get a valid patent on the same invention and then apply it against earlier inventor(s). All this is easily prevented simply by recognizing the invention and applying for a patent, or by publishing details of how to practice the invention, thus creating prior art.

          Emphasis mine.

        • by TheMCP (121589)

          Thank you, grammar police.

          My wording error aside, to claim to the patent office that you invented something when you know darn well you didn't because you carefully went about the process of stealing somebody's trade secret, and even filed a patent with the government stating your intent to do so, seems to indicate that your claim of invention is fraudulent. Moreover, while unknowingly filing a patent application for which there is prior art is not illegal, knowingly filing a fraudulent statement (patent ap

      • The USPTO has discussed moving from complicated "first-to-invent" policies to simpler "first-to-file." This would be a valuable patent in a first-to-file; if you could also show that a company willingly kept the invention secret and that it took research into their invention to discover non-obvious details of operation, then you could justifiably show that they were not the "inventor" in a technical sense (i.e. they had no intent to publish details on an invention) in a first-to-file.
      • To be fair, Halliburton didn't say their proposed system would only cover the prior art. The claimed invention would find something that is practiced by another company as trade secret, then use that as a PART of a new, patented invention that is needed to actually use the invention. Basically, it is preemptively embracing and EXTENDING the other party's trade secret technology so it is theoretically novel and useful enough to get patented but would also cover so much of the trade secret that it has to be i

    • ...I would think that the very act of finding "prior art" (the very fact they found an invention) as described in this system would invalidate any patent attempt of the trade-secret...

      Not if the prior art was secret - only public information counts.

      One of the main objective of the patent system is to encourage publication of inventions through patents. This both protect the inventor's economic interest for a limited time, and makes it riskier to keep inventions secret.

  • by pwnies (1034518) * <j@jjcm.org> on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:03PM (#25708737) Homepage Journal
    and sue the guy above me.
  • by Aix (218662) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:08PM (#25708821) Homepage
    I'm reminded of something that happened to me a few years ago in a Circuit City or Sears or someplace. I was looking for a radar detector for my car. The salesman was trying to upsell and said "You know, cops can detect radar detectors now, so you should get this upgrade with a radar-detector detector." I said, "Why do I want a radar-detector detector? Obviously I want a radar-detector-detector detector." The salesguy did not appreciate my point. I ended up just buying my original level of detection.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sexconker (1179573)

      No.
      You want a radar detector detector detector detector so you're ready when the cops get enough money from tickets to upgrade to radar detector detector detectors.

      And you got the analogy wrong.
      It's about anti-missile missiles.

      "But what if the reds develop anti-anti-missile missile missiles?"

    • by zarthrag (650912) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:16PM (#25708993)
      What's funny is that there actually are units with a radar-detector-detector detector circuit in them, in order to to protect against police units such as the Spectre III.
    • by zappepcs (820751)

      I do similar to geek squad types who come rushing up hoping to get a sale. When they ask if they can help me, I simply reply that I'd like (whatever item I'm holding in my hands or looking at)this to be marked down to 50% of sticker price. when they just sort of stare at me, I mutter 'nevermind' as I'm walking away.

      If you can do it with a straight face, they get pretty perplexed :-)

      Nothing like teasing a junkyard dog from the other side of the fence!!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PitaBred (632671)

        The sales guys at those places are rarely picked for technical knowledge, just their willingness to upsell anything, and try to get people excited about their products.

        Case in point: I was looking at some Sony ultra-mini laptop with a ULV Intel chip in it, and I had one of the salesguys come up to me and try to tell me it has a Pentium 4 in it. And this is well after the Intel Core series was being shipped in volume.

        I tell my family to not trust anything they say... they're trying to make a sale. The only

        • Last time I went to best buy, the guys got pissed, because I ruined a sale for them. they were trying to sell a guy a laptop, and all sorts of new shiny cables to connect things, but I had to step in when they tried to sell him a UPS for his freaking laptop!

        • My favourite is when you're looking at a computer or laptop etc. and the sales rep walks over and says "Can I help you?" to which you respond "I'm just checking out this laptop ..." and they start going "Ah well it's got ... " and then start reading off the specs word-for-word that are printed right on the sticker / tag etc.

    • Somehow that reminded me of the good old:

      Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign" have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?
  • Let Them Patent It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sexconker (1179573) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:10PM (#25708871)

    The methods of figuring out trade secrets are almost always illegal, and can be sued over.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The methods of figuring out trade secrets are almost always illegal, and can be sued over.

      Only if those methods involve illegal methods of corporate espionage. I was recently co-author of a patent for a product with a certain chemical formulation. Some details of the formulation & production were deliberately left out of the patent in order to retain trade secrets. But figuring out those secrets is easy enough by either 1) research or 2) espionage. The former is perfectly legal, but may involve large expenditure of resources - i.e., difficult enough that it might not be worth a company's

      • by russotto (537200) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:04PM (#25709931) Journal

        Some details of the formulation & production were deliberately left out of the patent in order to retain trade secrets.

        Then your patent should be invalidated for not disclosing sufficient information to allow a practicitioner skilled in the art to build the patented product.

        Similarly, any patents produced via Halliburton's method should be invalidated on the basis of fraud -- if I figure out, through reverse-engineering, the trade secrets embodied in someone else's invention, I still haven't actually _invented_ them. It's not the same as a case of independent invention.

    • The methods of figuring out trade secrets are almost always illegal, and can be sued over.

      Not if only public information is used. This includes material in brochures, public performance specifications, and so forth.

      These stratagies are common in R&D in many industries. You map the patent landscape, paying attention to your own portfolio of patents, products, and technologies and to the portfolios of your competitors. Your own product/technology roadmap is known, those of your competitors can be conjectured (with variations). Any future intersection which is patentable is a prime target ar

      • Yeah, but those aren't very effective.

        The ol' "Let me buy you a beer" and the "Hi, I'm looking for an intern position at your company!" tricks are generally more effective.

  • by Facegarden (967477) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:11PM (#25708899)

    So basically halliburton is trying to patent being a dick... I think there's some prior art for that...
    -Taylor

  • In re Bilski (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:13PM (#25708931) Homepage

    This is a silly business-methods patent application that will certainly be rejected by the PTO after Bilski. And no, a trade secret certainly does not qualify as prior art in the US. Nor should it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SydShamino (547793)

      And no, a trade secret certainly does not qualify as prior art in the US. Nor should it.

      Ahh, but I believe you are incorrect. The U.S. still uses a First to Invent method to establish the correct owner for a patent. The original inventor, who or who's company decided to keep the material secret, should have sufficient documentation to clearly establish him/herself as the first to invent. The fact that a patent was never sought should be irrelevant in this case; the idea was clearly reduced to practice by bringing a product to market based on it (as a trade secret). This would be especially

      • Re:In re Bilski (Score:4, Interesting)

        by canajin56 (660655) on Monday November 10, 2008 @04:32PM (#25711501)

        Yes, the US uses first-to-invent, with no prior user rights.

        If GE invents a fancy new molding technique for making plastic parts for a widget of some sort, and keeps it secret for over a year, they lose all rights to patent it, having "suppressed concealed or abandoned" the invention. In a similar vein, if Big Bad Drug Company (tm) invents the 5 cent cure for AIDS and tells the researches to lock it away and never bring it up again or publish their findings, and somebody else invents it, all the documentation in the world that they invented it first won't save them, now the other drug company owns it! At the very worst, you MIGHT be able to invalidate their patent if it wasn't under NDA, just unpublished. But under no circumstances can you take control over their own patent, if you made any acts to conceal or otherwise hide your invention from the public eye.

        Business Patents, on the other hand, do have a prior user right codified in law, where you cannot be liable for infringing on a patent if you were using the patented process prior to the "invention" date. HR.2795 and HR.1908/S.1145 both broadened this defense to all patents but neither was passed into law. These bills also would have change it from "first to invent" to "first to file" like the rest of the world has.

        In your specific example, were recipes patentable in the USA, then yes, KFC would have to licence Haliburton's new patent or change their own recipe. On the other hand, if somebody invents a new widget and doesn't patent it, it's not a secret even if the manufacturing technique is not published, because anybody can go and buy the widget. The manufacturing technique could still be patented out from under them though!

        As long as patent rules are enforced (they aren't!), meaning that it has to be non-trivial, and non-obvious, then there's nothing wrong with this. The reason it's designed this way is to punish people who try to hide their inventions from the public. If GE invents a new manufacturing technique, and refits all their factories under an NDA, but waits 5 years to patent it so their monopoly lasts longer, they should lose all their rights for trying to subvert the system! I don't think it's right that they could get sued over something they invented first, especially since it's open for abuse where they didn't so much suppress it, as think it was trivial and therefore not patentable anyway, and then got sued for billions! But they certainly shouldn't be able to take control of the patent, no way.

  • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2014@virtual-estates.net> on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:17PM (#25709023) Homepage

    because I somehow doubt that Halliburton is trying to get the patent as a way to block others from patent trolling.

    Wouldn't it be nice to see a principled opinion for a change? An opposition to a bad idea regardless of who is proposing it and why?

    I mean, if it were, uhm, the Red Cross, or the ACLU, or a some cooperative, trying to patent patent-trolling, we'd have no problems right? Because they would only use it for The Greater Good and would never sell it — not even if they went bankrupt and had to liquidate all their property (including the "imaginary" kind)?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gnick (1211984)

      I'm not sure about the Red Cross or ACLU, although I trust each more than Halliburton.

      Now if the EFF held this patent, I may actually sleep better.

  • Sound's good to me. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jaywalk (94910) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:18PM (#25709033) Homepage

    I somehow doubt that Halliburton is trying to get the patent as a way to block others from patent trolling.

    Actually, I'm not sure what else it could be used for. A patent on patent trolling can only be used against other patent trolls. If Halliburton wanted to be a patent troll, they wouldn't need a patent to do it. Besides, patent trolls typically don't have any other source of income that can be threatened by their "business", so Halliburton wouldn't really qualify.

    Looks like someone's stab at a defensive patent to me.

    • I disagree. What better way to patent troll than to remove all the competition, and steal everyone's patents yourself? Besides, larger companies have the resources to effectively fight patent trolls, and I don't think that the trolls go after them that much. Its small and mid-sized companies that have to watch out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        Patent trolling is already illegal. Now the clever patent trolls who find loopholes will also be violating patent even if they can avoid violating the laws against patent trolling. Unless they're Haliburton, but let's look at this reasonably: When it comes to patent trolling, Haliburton does at least have a better record than, um, patent trolls...

        Between Haliburton and patent trolls, I'd rather have Haliburton holding the patent on patent trolling. I mean... the farmer's been known to kill a few chickens fo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gnasher719 (869701)

      Actually, I'm not sure what else it could be used for. A patent on patent trolling can only be used against other patent trolls. If Halliburton wanted to be a patent troll, they wouldn't need a patent to do it. Besides, patent trolls typically don't have any other source of income that can be threatened by their "business", so Halliburton wouldn't really qualify.

      It can be used for three purposes: If any patent troll attacks Haliburton, Haliburton may be able to counter sue on grounds of infringement of their patent-trolling patent. This will keep some patent trolls at bay. Second, if any patent troll sues anyone, Haliburton may sue them. I don't think this makes too much business sense. But thirdly, if any patent troll sues anyone, Haliburton can over a license to the company being sued which allows them to use the Haliburton patent and sue anyone who uses it witho

  • by kimvette (919543) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:20PM (#25709083) Homepage Journal

    "Hopefully, the patent office rejects this patent, because I somehow doubt that Halliburton is trying to get the patent as a way to block others from patent trolling."

    It's in the USPTO's best interest to grant this patent because their revenue is largely driven by trolls patenting prior art and mechanisms/methods which are obvious to those skilled in the trade/art/science.

    Take DAC (digital analog converters) for example: radio was there, then someone came along and said "Zomg! I'm gonna patent using a DAC to send voice over the radio waves using digital" and "ZOMG! I'm gonna use a DAC to send ethernet over the radio!" and so forth. The DAC is a physical implementation and ought to have been given a patent, but the uses for which DACs are implemented are obvious to anyone skilled in the trade and ought to not be granted patents.

    But, if the USPTO rejects such patents, where is their job security? Or, if their jobs would still be secure, why, not rubber stamping a patent would require actual WORK. They can't have that now, can they? Just rubber stamp the patent application and let the courts sort it out, letting the little guys go bankrupt in the process.

    • Patent examiners, at least, have plenty of job security - as long as you're willing to work in DC on less than $70K/yr salary, they're willing to keep you. It appears that they optimize that number as low as possible while still finding warm bodies willing to sit in the chair.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dachannien (617929)

        Starting salaries at the PTO are in the $52k to $71k range, with recruitment/retention bonuses dependent upon your field of expertise.

        Also, promotions come pretty fast at the PTO. If you have sufficient production, you can get promoted at six months for an increase of two pay grades, for example. Anybody who stays a few years should be able to reach GS-13, which pays a minimum of $91k, and most people who make a career out of it will reach GS-14 or GS-15, which puts them into six digits.

        Look here [usptocareers.gov] if you'r

  • Shit! I'd been patent trolling like this for years, but it was a trade secret... now Halliburton's suing me!

  • by Un pobre guey (593801) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:28PM (#25709257) Homepage
    What is claimed is:
    1. Being an asshole.
    2. Effectively wielding the trait in claim 1.
    3. Using the trait in claim 2 for the purpose of making money.
    4. Using the trait in claim 3 as a business weapon.
    5. Using the trait in claim 4 to pursue litigation against entities with desirable assets.
    6. Using the methods and techniques in claim 5 to transfer ownership of desirable assets from the prior owner to the new owner, the user of the trait in claim 4.
    7. Using appropriate legal contracts and agreements to ensure that the prior owner in claim 6 cannot publically disclose the use of the methods and techniques in claim 5 or the successful results therefrom in claim 6.
    8. ...
    9. Profit!
  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:29PM (#25709279)

    If the company being targeted by this method has documented their trade secret, even if only internally, they can instantly shut down any infringement litigation by producing said documentation.

    Of course, this "outs" their trade secret, but that's not usually fatally crippling.

  • Hopefully my new patent to patent the patent application process will be approved first, so I can sue Halliburton for applying for a patent with my patented process of submitting a patent application to the Patent Office. Otherwise, I can sign a deal with Halliburton to work both ends of the issue - I will sue any new patents when they are submitted, and Halliburton can clean out any patents already granted! IT CANNOT FAIL.
  • This sounds like a process that could be done mentally, meaning it involves no technology of any kind. Just recently these types of patents were ruled to be unpatentable, so my guess is this is not a patentable process /IANAL

    • Abracadabra (Score:3, Funny)

      by pjt33 (739471)

      It can't be done mentally. To make sure of that, they included the magic words "with a computer". Truly their lawyers are more cunning than a fox with a PhD in cunning from Oxford University.

  • OK, so "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"

    IANAL, but does not the original invention invalidate the subsequent patent, as 'prior art'?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by clone53421 (1310749)

      If "prior art" actually prevented someone from getting a patent, "patent trolling" would be impossible...

  • by db10 (740174)
    This idea was invented by Shampoo!
    • Yep, I'm sure Shampoo did invent it, but Halliburton have now patented it and will sue him for it. But not to worry, as Shampoo also has a patent on a method of inventing an idea and will just countersue.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpinyNorman (33776) on Monday November 10, 2008 @02:36PM (#25709391)

    Well, IANAL, and in /. tradition I didn't RTFA, but what's the point of applying for patents in cases where you specifically know there's already prior art?

    That's a rhetorical question - I don't even want to know the answer.

  • Yeah "previous" sure.

  • We've discovered what "step 2: ???" is.

  • This isn't patent trolling... this takes it to a whole new level. I suggest the term "patent griefing".
  • Corporations are legal fictions intended to serve the public goood. Things just arn't working out between us, and so we're revoking your corporate charter and selling off all your physical assets and placing your intellectual property into the public domain. kthnxbai

  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Monday November 10, 2008 @03:30PM (#25710351)

    Halliburton, you magnificient bastard! Making patent trolls pay you license fees for violating your patent trolling patent? I revel in your sheer self-referential evilness. My hat is off to you. That takes huge balls — I think I saw one of them chasing Indy in a Peruvian temple.

  • This sounds oddly familiar to the "Blackmail acquisition and Assertion by a (Mob-member) First Party Against a Second Party" application I recently saw:

    Methods for a first party to acquire and assert blackmail against a second party are disclosed. The methods include obtaining secret and potentially damaging information on a second party. The methods further include writing a notification to specified second party. The notification is written to cover the potentially damaging information on said second party. The methods sometimes explicitly include offering a payment structure to the second party in exchange for nondisclosure of the potentially damaging information. The methods further include threats to forward such notification to other third parties in the event of the second party rejecting the payment structure before mentioned. The methods sometimes includes further demands and subsequent threats for non compliance from the second party. The methods sometimes include negotiating an alternative means of compensation when the primary payment structure is undesirable or otherwise impossible.

  • The patent involves patenting things previously protected by trade secret, right? Wouldn't that mean conscious concealment of prior art is required?

All the simple programs have been written.

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