So, does this mean that all those online sales and auction patents are now going to be re-evaluated, you know, since sales and auctions have existed for at least a few years before the internet was around?
So let's get this straight. If I pass around a sexually explicit photo at my job, I will get fired for sexual harassment, and creating a hostile work environment. But if I worked for the NSA.. .then all is well, right? Where do I sign up for this job?
I would not read too much into that, it is fairly common to "re-allocate" blame for having to say no to an offer (that is, to make it look like you were told no, even if you did not actually approach the "rules folks").
Not saying that is what happened here (I have no evidence either way), but I have seen similar tactics used repeatedly in business to save face, without breaking the rules.