Real estate agents have reported a surge of interest from patent attorneys and IP lawyers looking to buy up volcanoes and other hidden lairs.
The surge began shortly after the Minister of Justice, Simon Power, announced that changes would be made to the Patents Bill, to bring it into line with the European position on software patentability.
And the interest became a frenzy last night, after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v Kappos. Many anti-patent lobby groups had hoped the Supreme Court would tighten the rules on the patentability of software and business methods. But legal experts say the ruling means it is business as usual for those filing software and business method patents.
Experts say these two developments are likely to lead to a glut of new patent filings on behalf of greedy multinationals, and a massive increase in profits by patent lawyers. After deduction of taxes and mandatory Illuminati contributions, it is estimated that the average patent attorney’s income will rise by at least 400%.
Senior patent attorney The Grand Master Sir Vincent de Mort explained why the developments would so enrich the profession.
“At last the time is upon us! Watch, my lovelies, as I and others plant vast patent thickets around every area of technology conceivable to man, and then extort small software companies and software developers to pay exorbitant licence fees! And if they do not give in to our demands us we will annihilate them in the courts. Bwah ha ha ha! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”, said Sir Vincent, speaking through his interpreter-snake.
Ray Hargood of Hargood Realty said there simply were not enough volcanoes to go around, and that properties were being snapped up within hours of going on the market.
“We’re finding that the offshore islands are particularly attractive to our clients. Some attorneys are new in the market, and have taken the opportunity to buy their first volcano, now that the outlook is so bright for patents.
“Others are trading up. I’ve got one client whose volcanic lair in the Hauraki Gulf simply isn’t big enough to house him, his family, his army of goons in orange boilersuits, and his secret nuclear weapons that he plans to fire into the sun. He’s decided to upgrade now he can make even more money filing patents and suing software developers.”
Mr Hargood said that nothing much had changed when it came to what IP lawyers wanted in their properties.
“The old favourites: a bit of space, a view and a pool. They want enough room to manoeuvre their death machines in, and a nice view of the hapless cities they’re about to exterminate. A shark-filled pool will always add that ‘wow’ factor to a property.”
But for younger patent attorneys new to the market, affordability is an issue.
Desmond Smythe qualified as a patent attorney last year, and has been searching for a modest volcano to settle down in since the start of the year.
“It’s depressing, really”, said Mr Smythe. “The market’s gone crazy, and anything much more than a hole in the ground concealing a vast array of dungeons and military installations is out of my price range.”
He said he was considering renting for a few years, until the market died down.
“But it’s still hard to find a good rental that has a missile launch site, sufficient barracks, and decent biological warfare facilities.
“I may end up moving in with my parents for a while, before having them both killed.”