I'm sitting here furiously writing a patent application (not for software - for a bono-fide, physical THING). When you write these things, you first describe what you're doing in detail (take a piece of brass, cut a square into it, etc.) then try to generalize (well, ANY piece of metal, ANY shape, etc.) So you end up making claims ranging from the very specific to the very broad.
This gets me thinking about the business of panIP. They have broad, riduculous claims. Some of the claims I'm making now I think are overly broad, but you put them in because they just might stand up.
The part of the system that seems to be broken is that, once a patent is accepted, and most are, then the threat of legal action is scary enough to most people that settling is easier. Most of the power of lawyers is the perception that they are right, and that they will win in court, or have means of harassing you until they do.
So I say, let's even up the balance of power. IT work for attorneys should cost $300/hour (including time chatting with them in the hallways.) And we should randomly threaten them with the bugbear of unfixed technology problems, network security problems, etc. Leave them in the dark and let them sweat about whether the other guy is being straight with them.
Or I may have just had too much soda to drink for this time of night.