In the past I had encountered a few mentions of orbits being patented (or at least applications filed) but didn't take much notice. Then I did a simple search and was blown away by the sheer volume of activity - mostly USPTO but EPO as well.
Is spacecraft maneuver intellectual property actively traded by entities actually involved in the space industry? Are orbits, or orbital maneuvers ever avoided - with deference to less optimal ones - in order to avoid paying royalties? (...or are royalties ever paid?)
Bonus points: If I patent a bunch of orbits or maneuvers, can I convince (leverage) entities to hire me as a consultant in exchange for not suing them? (humor - mostly)