QUOTE(ZildjianKX @ May 16 2006, 11:14 PM)
This is why big companies keep so many patents... when they get sued, they can easily counter-sue. This is exactly what Intel does. They also have engineers reverse engineer competitor products to see if there are any infringements in case they want to sue or in case they need to counter-sue.
Indeed. These large patent portfolios do there jobs well, too. Part of the reason the desktop market doesn't have a patent war going on, is because *Everyone* would loose. MS, Apple, and OIN (*nix) all have huge patent portfolios. Should they start going at it, they would probably destory themselfs, and take a large portion of the US patent system with it. There are alot of paralles with the Cold War. No body wants a patent war, but all the big players are in a sort of arms race to aquire more patents.
The best way to stay afloat? Get patents. The easiest way to get patents? Wipe out a small company. Best way to do that? Use your patents. It's a crazy legal system.