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.”
Here is the abstract:
Methods for a first party to acquire and assert a patent property against a second party are disclosed. The methods include obtaining an equity interest in the patent property. The methods further include writing a claim within the scope of the patent property. The claim is written to cover a product of the second party where the product includes a secret aspect. The methods further include filing the claim with a patent office. The methods sometimes include offering a license of the patent property to the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim. The methods sometimes include asserting infringement of the claim by the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim. The methods sometimes include negotiating a cross-license with the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim, where under the cross-license the first party obtains a license to an intellectual property right from the second party. The methods sometime include attempting to obtain a monetary settlement from the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim.