Okay, so everyone who's any competent in the software industry loathes software patents, medical patents kill people, and patents even delayed the industrial revolution for decades by keeping steam engines primitive and prices high. The two professions that benefit are of course patent lawyers and government officials (both patent and antitrust ones), as they get to more effectively leech off of the rest of society who are trying to get useful work done. As expected, these leeches are also the first to get their input heard in making new patent law.
And then there's patent trolls, the companies that don't actually do anything except generate and/or acquire patents and sue other companies for infringement, usually expecting the victim to pay them off rather than fighting a long-winded court battle which might end up with absurd "damages" awards. Everybody hates those no-good low-lives, right?
Wrong. Well, at least for the no-good part. Hating the low-lives I can dig.
I've come to the perhaps slightly counterintuitive conclusion that patent trolls are just what the doctor ordered for this sick society of ours. They're the chemo to the patent cancer. The medicine is certainly nasty enough, but if it kills the disease before the patient, it's all good in the long run, right? As with cancer, there are other factors and treatments that may also be required, but here's why patent trolls have good potential as a significant causal agent to the eradication of patents:
Patent trolls like to fuck the big players. The bigger they are, the deeper their pockets. Hell, they're the only ones that can fuck the big players. Since they don't do anything useful themselves, they can't be countersued for patent infringement, nor can a MAD cross-licensing deal be negotiated as is usual between industry heavyweights.
Thus I hope that patent trolls become even more plentiful than they already are, so much so that they can severely damage the ability of large corporations to do business. Given the premise, the latter might just have to cry "uncle" and reverse their patent lobbying stances, otherwise facing the fate of the dinosaurs.
Now, there is the danger that the industry lobbyists will manage somehow to outlaw patent trolls while keeping practicing industry companies able to harass others with patents. I think that might be a hard sell, though, what with the patent troll lawyers lamenting the imaginary poor basement inventor no longer being able to profit from his idea by selling the patent to them. Of course, they'll defend the patent system as a whole while they're at it, but they won't be able to cover up its economic damage forever.
Also, the trolls may realize this and limit their activities, but I think that unlikely as well. It's the comedy of the commons; no single troll has incentive to limit their extortion racket. And with the mentality being to make a quick buck or two billion, I don't think the future sustainability of the business is a prime concern. Hell, they may realize themselves that they have no long-term future, so better loot all you can while you can.
'course, trolls will harass small to mid-size businesses as well, but those are already victims in the patent regime anyway. Trolls are not required, the large companies can and do extort these targets quite gladly themselves. There may be some extra burden to bear, but that's the chemo side effects. It'll feel better in a few years. I promise. *crosses fingers*