MPEG Lawyers Accused Of Taking Inventions They Reviewed And Patenting Them
from the seems-questionable dept
Someone anonymous has submitted this story which we're initially pretty skeptical about. At this point, it's all quite one sided, and some more details would be useful. However, we're posting it here to see if others have more info on the story: "Primary patent reviewer for MPEG, Kenneth Rubenstein and a former IBM patent counsel (and few others) are accused of taking inventions from small inventors and patenting them in their own names, when they were acting as patent counsel for them. A patent attorney filing for 90 patents in his own name is definitely not ok. Who can you trust if not your own patent lawyer?" There are some pretty wild claims as you read through the details (death threats and attempted car bombings, included). While MPEG is no saint, it's a huge jump to go from similar patents being filed to claiming that the patent reviewers literally took the invention and patented it in their own names. It's possible -- we're not denying that -- but it seems that it should be backed up with more proof. Considering the space they were in, it's quite possible that multiple people came up with similar ideas -- and, in fact, this could be an argument that these particular patents aren't valid (if multiple people all had the same idea, that suggests it fails the "non-obvious to the skilled practitioner" test). As we said, the details so far are one-sided and not entirely clear -- so we'd love to hear from others with more details.