Making Money: Patent Pending

IBM wants to patent an idea about its patents, which is, well, patently contrary
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Oct 24, 2007 6:43 PM CDT
Patty McHugh, director of new business development of IBM voice systems, holds her first IBM Patent Application award from the company back in 1981.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Big Blue is seeing green in a recent patent filing. IBM, which holds more patents than any company in the world and reaps more than $1 billion in royalties annually, says it wants to make it easier for small companies to license its ideas on a “floating privilege basis.” So it's seeking a patent on a method of granting access to patent portfolios, reports the AP.

Experts say IBM’s patent is for a business method, which flies in the face of the company’s own campaign to limit patent law to technology. IBM filed a “friend of the court” brief on the topic with the US Supreme Court in 2005, but says this application is different because the business method “is all only possible with technology."