Friday, gunman Joe Jackson entered the law offices of Wood Phillips in Chicago and killed three people, including two patent attorneys. According to a letter Jackson wrote in February of 2003, Jackson felt patent attorney Michael McKenna subsequently stole Jackson’s idea for a portable toilet after Jackson described the invention to McKenna in 2002.
The only problem is that Leslie Cosby, the inventor of United States Letters Patent Number 6,240,576 for a portable toilet, filed the patent application in April of 1998. The patent actually issued in June of 2001, at least six months prior to the initial meeting described in Jackson’s letter.
McKenna’s family issued a statement that Jackson had paid McKenna $825 to conduct a patent search for his proposed invention. According to the family, the search uncovered that Jackson’s toilet had already been patented. McKenna’s family went on to state that the state investigated Jackson’s complaints about McKenna, but found no wrongdoing.