Patenting Patent Trolls

My partners and I were hanging out at lunch last week when Jason brought up the question of whether or not we could patent the business method of “creating or acquiring intellectual property for the primary objection of bring lawsuits against potential infringers.” 

In essence, could we patent the idea of being a patent troll?  After a hearty laugh, Jason looked into it and discovered that this was not possible.  Since our “proposed method” has been used in the public for more than a year, there is a statutory bar to obtaining a patent.   35 U.S.C. § 102(b).

35 U.S.C. 102 Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent.

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless —

(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or

(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States,

While plenty of patents (applied for an issued) violate this, we decided not to stretch things in this case. 

Oh well, it was fun to ponder for a couple of hours.