Halliburton tries to patent patent trolling itself

Halliburton -- Dick Cheney's old company -- has branched out from defrauding the US military and has opened a new front: attacking American inventors by subverting the patent system. The company has filed for a patent on "patent acquisition and assertion by a (non-inventor) first party against a second party." In other words, they're seeking the exclusive right to use the patent system to create lawsuits instead of useful inventions.
In 2007, Haliburton filed for patent protection – claiming a method of "patent acquisition and assertion by a (non-inventor) first party against a second party." It looks like the company wants to be able to sue non-inventing entities who try to patent and assert technology against a company who has been using the technology as a trade secret. Bilski wipes cleanly out the claims – except for those claiming the step of "performing research using a computer." The inventor Clive D. Menezes is a Halliburton patent attorney. The prosecuting attorney is Howard Speight.

Junk Patents (via /.)


  1. Never understood how a non- inventor patent was legal. A patent for saying “You know what would be cool? Rocket Boots.” And then getting money when someone actually makes functional rocket boots? Does this not sound like pure- grade BS?

  2. Ha ha ha.

    As an inventor and supporter of IP rights, the ridiculousness of this made my day.

    1- This is the exact kind of crap that is being thrown out by the Bilski decision ( re: abstract concepts / business methods ) — including the ‘performing research using a computer’ line, which doesn’t pass the machine or transformation test in the least bit ( ‘performing research’ is so abstract, and its a method ).

    2- It’s not even close to be novel.

    Halliburton must be swimming in no-bid Iraq War contract cash to waste their time on this bullshit.

  3. No no no, you’re not seeing the positive aspect of this application! Once they get this patent granted, no-one (else) can be patent trolls anymore! It’s awesome!

  4. There could be more to this than meets the eye. For example, one good way to keep things from being patented (world-wide) is to put it in to the patent prior art. One way to do this is to file for a patent and allowing it to publish.

  5. This patent would be a wonderful idea, provided it was in the hands of a group which sued patent trolls.

  6. #4 and #7 : We think alike. We should let this go through. If only one company can be patent trolls, things should go a lot smoother with the rest of the patent situation.

    Kind of reminds of one of last week’s XKCD strips:


  7. I had no idea that you could patent a business procedure. That is what’s going on here, right?
    And this is due to the “Bilski decision”?
    Looks like I got some internetting to do.

  8. I had no idea that you could patent a business procedure.

    Patent rights on seeds keeps coming to mind when I read this.
    The law stated that life couldn’t be given a patent at one time.

    It is just as likely that Halliburton can very well possibly succeed in securing this patent.

  9. Come on – you think no one at Haliburton has a sense of humor?! Patent applications get filed without much review all the time and this fellow is taking advantage of that fact for a in-joke. Who the hell wouldn’t want that engraved plaque on their wall for having the actual patent on this process!

  10. While Halliburton is an Evil Corporation, this seems primarily intended to protect the corporation from patent trolls. If anyone patent trolls them, they countersue for violating their patent on patent trolling.

  11. Just wait until my company patents the process of patenting the patent acquisition and assertion process thereby adding a third (and certainly insurmountable) legal GOLDMINE!

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