We see all sorts of ridiculous patent applications and patents, but my favorites tend to be the patents that have to do with patents themselves (such as the patent app on a method for filing a patent). However, the folks over at Patently-O have highlighted a fascinating patent application from an attorney at Halliburton, which appears to be an attempt to patent the process of patent trolling
. The application
covers, quite explicitly, having a company (we'll say Company A) that does not
invent something, find a company (Company B) that did
invent something, but chose to use trade secret protection, rather than patents. Then, the Company A files a patent covering Company B's technology, and then use the issued patent to get money out of Company B.
Now, one could hope that Halliburton's intention in patenting such a process was to use it to stop
other companies from doing this, but it does make you wonder. Of course, especially after the Bilski ruling
, this patent is most likely dead in the water, but these days, you never know.