Mike Masnick recommends you listen to this podcast about today's preeminent Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures link here
(or read the transcript link here
It covers a lot of familiar territory but brings the facts up to date. You will be appalled. But I was pleased to see it laid out with both precision and persuasive art. Just what is needed to get some political change on patents, particularly on software patents. The courts aren't going to change the law nor repair the incredible mess they and the Patent Office have created.
Isaac Fox emailed me this link and I was just about to post it, but John beat me to it. To comment on it: one of the arguments for intellectual property is that the imitators can wait until the innovator is successful before investing. This ignores the fact that after the innovator is successful the money is already in the bank. Patents indeed have the opposite effect. The patent holder can wait quietly doing nothing of use until the innovator is successful then launch a raid on the money in the bank. Not what you would call an incentive to innovate.