Patent Trolling: It's Not Just For Software

Via Walter Olson:

“Hundreds of home builders in the Pacific Northwest have been put on notice that if they use a dehumidifier to dry rain-damaged projects, they are infringing on a patent recently issued to a father and son who claim they invented the process.”

I wonder if I can patent "the reduction in grass height using a sharpened, spinning blade" and drive all of my competitors out of business?


  1. Matthew Slyfield:

    "I wonder if I can patent "the reduction in grass height using a
    sharpened, spinning blade" and drive all of my competitors out of

    Propeller type blade or cylindrical blade?

  2. sean2829:

    There is an interesting book on early aviation looking at the conflict between the Wright Bros. and Glen Curtiss. After about 1908, it seemed the Wrights Bros. put all their energy in defending their patents on the airplane with Curtis was busy solving the problems and getting patents of his own. The WSJ has a good review. The Wright brothers got the science of aeronautics right but stopped innovationg in order to defend their patents. Curtis was better at building flying machines and a lot of his innovations are still used today.

  3. The Outsider:

    I already have dibs on that.

  4. Steve Merryman:

    What? And stop me from cutting my grass? Finally! My prayers are answered!

  5. FelineCannonball:

    Just save us a bunch of trouble and file a patent on patent trolling. I'll chip in to help you defend it against all comers.

  6. bobby_b:

    The scariest part of this is the realization that, if the patent holder was sufficiently plugged in to the Democrat party, this would be a colorable, legal claim.

    And if I faced such a legal claim and lost my pants to these guys for the sin of drying out my drywall, I'd have to think long and hard about whether there was any more rule of law.

    And if I concluded that there was not, then these guys would be at great peril.

  7. JKB:

    Whatever happened to patents needing to be non obvious.

    They seem to have patented HVAC. Measuring to see if moisture content is above proper conditions (humidity), installing vapor barrier (walls), running a dehumidifier, heater or air moving device to dry structure (HVAC). Is it really unique that this patent apparently is for pre-permanent wall sheathing installation?

  8. Benjamin:

    Google just patented using lighting for studio photographs....

  9. Daniel Barger:

    Its probably time the patent office got a good enema. A lot of these issues would be irrelevant if patents were not issued for ideas and
    processes that are quite obvious and logical. Ideas and actions that any reasonable person would take. But we all know that's not going to happen as the legal parasites would lose out on a very lucrative venue for sucking cashola out of peoples pockets.