IBM: Can one patent offshoring of work?

Well, IBM in the US think so. Via Slashdot I found this article.  As far as I know to patent something it need to be original work and no prior art should exist.  Surely IBM was not the first to come up with this concept, whether it be offshoring the work to India and any other country for that matter.

I quote from the patent application:

A method for identifying human-resource work content to outsource offshore of an organization. The method is provided on a computer readable medium and includes the steps of identifying at least one task being performed by an organization; associating each identified task with a functional group within a plurality of functional groups related to the organization; determining information about individual human resources spent on each task; determining task information about human resources spent on the plurality of tasks, the task information based on the determined information about individual human resources spent on each task; using the determined task information to determine a value of each task; and outsourcing tasks having a value lower than a predefined limit to at least one of offshore and to a low cost supplier.

 

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