IBM Trying To Get Patent On Patent Extortion?

from the recursive-patent-abuse dept

Have fun with this one. As seen on Slashdot and sent in by a few different readers, it appears that IBM is trying to patent the process of using a large patent portfolio for patent extortion. Technically, the patent is for "A system and method for extracting value from a portfolio of assets." Of course, if any company can claim credit for such a thing, it's IBM. After all, there's the famous story of IBM demanding patent licensing dollars from Sun. They accused Sun of patent infringement, but when Sun engineers and lawyers pointed out how they didn't infringe on the patents in question, IBM's lawyers responded: "OK, maybe you don't infringe these seven patents. But we have 10,000 U.S. patents. Do you really want us to go back to Armonk [IBM headquarters in New York] and find seven patents you do infringe? Or do you want to make this easy and just pay us $20 million?" Nice to see they're now patenting that process. One could hope that IBM is hoping to get this patent either to prevent others from doing the same thing or (maybe?) to show just how ridiculous the patent system has become. Either way, it's still only an application, so perhaps a patent examiner will realize that there's a bit of prior art around this particular concept.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: extortion, patents
Companies: ibm, uspto


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), 22 Oct 2007 @ 4:50pm

    What's Next???

    If Mike is right about this being a possible benevolent application on IBM's part trying to dial down the patent insanity here in the US, then I would expect another filing shortly for "A system and method for obfuscting patent application language and clarity improving patent award rates and post-award patent litigation value".

    Reading patents is about as much fun as reading "Mein Kampf".

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.