Synistar writes "GovDeals, an Ebay-like government auction company, is using a patent that they were awarded on a "tiered method for auctioning government assets over a computerized network, such as the Internet"to sue the Nashville Police Department . Apparently GovDeals was rejected in their bid to become a contractor for the city government. They warned the city that they were in process of obtaining a patent and that the city would be in violation of it if they did not hire GovDeals. When they lost the bid and were awarded the patent they then turned around and sued the Police Department for violating it. So were patents intended as a means to wrangle government contracts and punish those who don't hire you?"