There's a major legal issue: To what extent should patents be presumed valid? [Microsoft] has been trying for years to get the Supreme Court to rule on this issue, and it appears the company is on the brink of success.
"This is a very important case," says Los Angeles attorney Glenn W. Trost. "The Supreme Court, for the first time, is going to squarely address the quantum of proof needed to establish the invalidity of a patent in patent litigation."
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It is especially funny to read the quotes from hard-core supporters of the current patent regime in this article, who all seem hell-bent on protecting their occupational turf (even if it means making it more difficult for genuine innovators to overturn weak or fraudulently granted patents).
However, the article does a good job at presenting both sides. Well worth the time to read.