I heard that somewhere, else, not our own phrase. But what we're talking about are companies who don't do the research and devleopment but simply find ways of filing for patents that they speculate may be useful.

Large corporations who do legitimate research are sometimes guilty of patent squatting. They patent a generalized process that they haven't developed, wait for someone to actually implement it, then try to make money on the license.

I have no problem with patents when they are used correctly which is the scenario you described. Someone does research, develops a real technology then licenses it out for production. What I have an issue is companies who do nothing but develop patents, not real technologies and processes.

See this article for more


And here's a great resource for turning up examples of bad patents