Patenting security patches? Slimy, greedy, sad

Ugh.  As in ug-ly.  This is get-rich-“quick” parasitism at its finest.  I really wish bottom-feeders like this would find a way to use their obviously-untapped energies to contribute something constructive to the economy, society or culture.

How does it work?  “…a new firm is offering to work with you on a vulnerability patch that they will then patent and go to court to defend. You’ll split the profits with the firm, Intellectual Weapons, if they manage to sell the patch to the vendor. The firm may also try to patent any adaptations to an intrusion detection system or any other third-party software aimed at dealing with the vulnerability, so rest assured, there are many parties from which to potentially squeeze payoff.”

And how will they get around the lengthy patent application process?  “The company says that it may try to use a Petition to Make Special in order to speed up the examination process when filing a U.S. patent. Another strategy the firm proposes using is to go after a utility model rather than a patent-a utility model being similar to a patent but easier to obtain and of shorter duration-typically six to 10 years.”

“In most countries where utility model protection is available, patent offices do not examine applications as to substance prior to registration,” the company says. “This means that the registration process is often significantly simpler, cheaper and faster. The requirements for acquiring a utility model are less stringent than for patents.”

Patents and copyright in their current form have outlived their usefulness.  I can’t remember the last time I read a story about a “little guy” who actually benefited from the patent or copyright protections for whom they were originally meant.  Now it all seems to be about providing a stable base of income for multinationals to leverage when they can no longer actually contribute something genuinely new and useful to the planet.

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