by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
labor, offshoring, patents

bank of america

Will Offshoring Patent Apps Come Back To Haunt BofA In Labor Dispute?

from the there's-a-patent-for-that dept

theodp writes "Reuters reports that workers for Bank of America, one of the nation's largest employers, have sued the company for allegedly failing to pay OT and other wages. 'Bank of America enjoys millions of dollars in ill-gained profits at the expense of its hourly employees,' the complaint said. A BofA spokeswoman said the bank would defend itself vigorously: 'Bank of America has comprehensive policies, practices and training for both managers and associates designed to ensure full compliance with all federal and state wage and hours laws.'

What she didn't mention is that BofA also has a pending patent that describes how to eliminate 'demanding work force' problems by identifying another country for a corporation to relocate its work force to. 'A business entity is forced to commit significant resources to employ an American work force,' complained BofA in a patent filing (a rewrite toned down the anti-American worker sentiment), 'and may often find that the demands of American employees far exceed the allotted budget.' Nor did she mention that that two weeks after CEO Ken Lewis told 60 Minutes that taking $25B in TARP funds was the 'right thing for America', BofA plopped down another $1,194 to seek U.S. patent protection for another 'invention' -- Portfolio Analysis Enhancement to Entity Mobility/Productivity Opportunities -- that enables a business entity 'to employ a work force from a different, lower-cost, location in order to maximize profit.' So, could the patent apps come back to haunt BofA in court?"

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