"Newegg was lucky that they had an in-house lawyer and the original owner who was prepared to make a stand. This is rare: Conventional wisdom is to hire outside lawyers - patent specialists and all. "
They did hire an outside law firm, Weil Gotshal, which is one of the top firms in the country.
In theory judges are supposed to dismiss law suits without merit, but they don't - because they don't give a shit about the costs and it gives them something to do. . . That the original judge fucked up does not surprise me. Forget what you see on TV about just and fair judges: In patent troll counties like the Eastern District of Texas the judges are blatantly pro-plaintiff. If they were not all the money flowing into their district would dry up, the judges and legal fraternity would be looking for a job somewhere else.
Absolutely wrong, judges love dismissing cases, particularly complex cases like patent actions, because they don't want their docket to get overloaded. Judges make incorrect holdings of fact and law all the time; that's the whole point behind appeal courts. It's usually not out of malice or incompetence, despite perennial slashdot anger at what is perceived as to the contrary. Speaking as someone who used to litigate in federal courts, the majority of judges just don't care on a personal level about the parties before them, they just want to get the cases moved through their court. The only personal investment most judges have in the cases is they don't want them to be reversed because they consider it as a hit on their reputation.