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The following patent application claims the business model and methods of Patent Trolling.

Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party

US 20080270152 A1

Abstract

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.

I am curious about prior art. The application has gone through several USPTO rejections and has been appealed as of June 25, 2014. In light of the USPTO granting so many vague patents, I would wonder why there's so many rejections to this.

Claim 1

  1. A method for a non-inventor first party to acquire and assert a patent property against a second party, the method including the first party performing the following acts: obtaining an equity interest in the patent property; writing a claim within the scope of the patent property, the claim being written to cover a product of the second party, where the product includes a secret aspect, the secret aspect including an unobservable aspect, where writing the claim includes performing research using a computer to convert the unobservable aspect to an observable aspect; filing the claim with a patent office; offering a license of the patent property to the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim; and attempting to obtain a monetary settlement from the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim.

There are 99 total claims that would effectively shut down or monopolize patent trolls by patenting the common methods of patent trolling. Is this correct?

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I would have though this application was submitted a joke (there is one about a method of proposing marriage used as a proposal). The company that submitted it is very large and they have a Big Law firm working on it! –  George White Jul 30 at 0:42

2 Answers 2

As I recall;

  1. The patent was submitted on April 1 (joke was intended)
  2. The application is an application and there is no grant.
  3. I believe there is plenty of prior-art in patent trolling, so it will never get granted.

A system where the original inventor has to be present to defend work is un-workable and impractical anyway. As an example, I have about 30 patents for which I'm listed the inventor -- they were all done in the cause of my job at that time. Should I be forced to be available if my old company were to defend or use the patent I would essentially be bound to doing work for that company regardless of my employment status. If a system obliged me to do so it would border "involuntary forced work" a.k.a. "slavery" -- white-collar-slavery, but same nonetheless

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To answer one of the posed questions: While it might seem like many vague patents get issued, it is also true that many vague rejections get issued. More to the point, if the applicant keeps responding to rejections on time and paying money for an RCE every two rejections, the process continues. The queue to go before the appeals board is now about 20k applications long.

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