Did I say Google initiated any patent disputes?
Without patents there's nothing to protect us small fry developers from larger predators like Google and Microsoft, which was the point of the Stac Electronics patent suit that I pointed out.
If someone small develops the next best thing in search and Google can't simply copy them because of patent violation then the new company has a distinct advantage that Google wouldn't want them to have.
Now imagine Google's facing a new competitor that's kicking their tail, the company won't sell them the technology, and they can't infringe on the patent without a massive financial penalty.
That's where they don't want to be and the easiest way to avoid it would be to have the patent system tossed aside.
Sure, you're going to get a few frivolous patent lawsuits because a few wackos out there are looking to scam the system, but personally I like the fact that the little innovators can protect themselves from the monolithic giants that could easily replicate what the innovators have done and decimate their little companies.
Filing a lawsuit isn't the only way to nuke a company as unfair competition does an equally good job.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 7:45 pm (utc) on April 2, 2009]