incrediBILL - 1:34 am on Jan 31, 2013 (gmt 0)
The big problem, is with all the companies that cave in and settled. This money was used by Soverign to pay the lawyers to go after more victims. Sounds like an extortion racket to me.
That's exactly what they do, go after the little fish first to build a war chest to go after bigger and bigger fish. Had they gone after the software makers themselves, often VC backed or very large companies with lots of money and lawyers on staff, they'd get swatted like bugs from the very start.
I had no clue that someone could enforce patents by going after the customers instead of going after the manufacturer. That was all new to me. Could you imagine someone suing every car or computer owner for instance over a component being used? Typically you can't find them and there are too many so it's not practical to go after the customers directly. However, on the internet, finding potential victims for a frivolous patent lawsuit is just one query away, or as easy as firing up a scraper script to scour the web looking for every shopping cart in use on the planet.
The problem is these people are often threatened if they expose the fact that they're being sued. or the terms of the settlement include NDA, so many won't even post about the problem looking for others to band together and fight it off because they're being extorted in legal silence.
The lawyers that file these frivolous lawsuits need to be disbarred which would discourage this crap from happening again. That's how you really stop it, take away the incentive for being part of the problem.