Monday, December 11, 2006

Inventor kills lawyer over idea for portable toilet

(via Patentingart list) It is true that to many of us IP is a source of income, but is it a matter of life and death? One man in Chicago thought so. Truck driver and sometimes inventor Joe Jackson murdered patent lawyer Michael McKenna and two other people at the offices of the Chicago firm Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jackson invented a portable toilet for truckers, and went to McKenna to have the invention patented. However, Jackson became convinced that McKenna had stolen his idea and had registered the toilet for himself after researching on the Internet. I conducted a search on the USPTO on published applications and issued patents for Michael McKenna, but did not find anything. The search terms "joe jackson" and "toilet" did not produce any results either. According to family members, McKenna told Jackson that he could not patent the invention because it was already invented.

Jackson eventually snapped, and murdered the patent lawyer.

Tragic as the event is, I found something quite interesting in one of the articles detailing the unfortunate events. The Chicago Tribune describes the other lawyer killed as "an expert in the arcane legal field of intellectual property." Arcane?

I'm off to make some incantations and read some entrails.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd kill for one of these new Linux portables:

OK - so I could just order one and not go to jail, unless software emulation suddenly becomes a big no-no.

honestly A.G. this isn't spam, check yer email!