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Did someone just patent the process of patent trolling? USPTO: 0080270152 (uspto.gov)
92 points by chaostheory on March 4, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 34 comments

Non-final rejection was on 2009-10-09. Response submitted on 2010-01-20. I haven't read any of it but you can look up application number 11/741429 at http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair.

Two bases for the rejections: one for lack of statutory subject matter (no machine or transformation under Bilski) and one for obviousness (combining an article about patent trolling with the PTO's prosecution manual makes the claimed method obvious).

With regard to subject matter, the applicant makes two arguments: (1) patents are like personal property, so they satisfy the "transformation of matter" prong of Bilski; and (2) one of the steps involves computer research (basically, Google searching), which involves a machine.

With regard to obviousness, the patent applicant argues that the prosecution manual does not contain all the steps of the claimed method.

In my mind, the big issue is that the applicant most likely wrote the claims up based on what other patent trolls have done before. Besides the fact that this means that his claims are anticipated by prior use, it means that he is not the original inventor of the claims, making them unpatentable.


I already patented 'a method of subverting the patent system by patenting the process of patent trolling."

I'm totally going to sue.

"[0012]The inventor and the assignee of this patent have no intention of applying the techniques described herein offensively but instead intend to use the patent defensively to discourage patent trolls and the like from extortionist practices."

Whew, that could have been bad.

That's actually quite a brilliant hack. I wonder, has it ever been done?

X launches a patent-trolling suit to try to get in on Y's patent. These guys launch a countersuit at X for using their patented technique, stalling the original suit. The best part is, the evidence for the countersuit is already known to the court...

Worth doing just as a protest.

The US Patent System has just been owned by Kurt Godel.

and Halliburton -- oh crap.

This is a patent application, not a granted patent.

This is sad. This case has 100 claims. The Examiner on the case is writing 50 page actions, the attorney is writing 20 page responses.

Both their time and energy can be used on better things.

From a cursory examination it looks like it's pretty close. Although this patent seems to be broader than just patent trolling. It looks like it's a patent on asserting patent rights in any situation predatory or non-predatory.

perhaps someone should patent the process of patenting the process of patenting. no one will beat that, surely.

why not? It's not like they take prior art into a account.

Shouldn't this apply to patenting trolling, too?

How about patenting a method of getting a patent despite prior art?

After reading so many patents in the past week, I've learned a few things such as: "the title is meaningless", and "patents are densely worded and difficult to comprehend for somebody not versed in legalese"

So, are there any patent lawyers in our midst who can attest to the meaning of this patent application? Is this actually what it appears to be?

Finally an effective way to end the patent troll:

You are using my patented method for patent trolling. I'm suing you!

Only if a patent on patent trolling was set up up so that it could be used by everyone. I'm guessing its possible somehow to grant a license to use a patent to every person, living or dead, now or in the future for an unlimited period of time.

I'm sure you can find prior art on this one.

I think I'll patent "A method and process for mounting a legal defense against patent lawsuits."

And next, "A method and process for preventing patent litigation through acquiring patents and threatening to counter sue."

I'll be unstoppable!

link gives an error.

[Edit] Why the downvote?

Anyone have a working URL?

http://www.educause.edu/blog/sworona/TrollingforTrolls/16800... has some information.

Methods for a first party to acquire and assert a patent property against a second party are disclosed. The methods include obtaining an equity interest in the patent property. The methods further include writing a claim within the scope of the patent property. The claim is written to cover a product of the second party where the product includes a secret aspect. The methods further include filing the claim with a patent office. The methods sometimes include offering a license of the patent property to the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim. The methods sometimes include asserting infringement of the claim by the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim. The methods sometimes include negotiating a cross-license with the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim, where under the cross-license the first party obtains a license to an intellectual property right from the second party. The methods sometime include attempting to obtain a monetary settlement from the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim.

Change appft1 to appft in the url

Still doesn't work for me. Are we overloading it?..

No, the USPTO is imploding.

I wish. =\

Just? This was filed in 2007.

Halliburton already tried this in 2008.

http://techdirt.com/articles/20081107/0118162765.shtml Yes, everyone's favorite "Halliburton".

I suppose it could only have happened with the first (few) patent(s), but someone should have patented "a method for filing a patent."

The one patent to rule them all!!

This patent shouldn't be allowed. There are lots of prior art. Just ask any patent troll

Prior art, surely.

Self-reference has just waved the white flag and gone home.

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