For people who wonder what I am on about.
The most public case is with Blackberry - they were delayed for a long time because a raft of stupid patents had been granted to a company who never even had any intention of making any products - a bit like people registering domain names and parking them.
In the end Blackberry had to pay $612 million as the delays were costing them more. The patents will probably be thrown out eventually but Blackberry won't get their money back!!!
Basically the US patent office allows people to patent a concept rather than an actual invention. This is crazy - it means somone could have patented a horseless carriage or a flying machine without even building a prototype!!!
There has been a long running dispute with some company who was granted a patent for a buy it now feature for online auctions - they are trying to stop Ebay from using it. This makes about as much sense as granting someone a patent for the concept of a supermarket!!!