I wrote a guest post for MacStories, covering the history of patent law surrounding patent trolls. While recent lawsuits from Lodsys and Kootol are causing panic and alarm from indie developers, it's not like this threat is suddenly new. Patent lawsuits have always been on the table, but they were ignored by the majority of small companies. Now it's clear that patent holders will pursue people who violate their patent. Whether ethical or not, they are legally required to defend their patents, and that means we will see more patent lawsuits pursued by trolls. Meanwhile, none of these small developers can afford to fight, so they settle, perpetuating the cycle.