An anonymous reader writes: Is there a strategy for software startups wanting to make it big with a product in this world of software patents? Particularly, how can a software startup wishing to take its product to the international market hope to compete with the large software companies and their armada of patents? No matter whether or not the startup has an innovative product, a patent or two, a little or a lot of funds, it seems that if the large software companies decide that they wish to crush them with law-suits regarding patent infringement, valid or invalid, they can tie them up long enough in court to drive them out of business (bankruptcy or cause them to lose any market lead they may have had). Can anyone suggest a strategy, or pointers to discussion(s) of a strategy (or strategies), for a new software company to grow (around a product) and itself become one of the large software companies (hopefully not then playing the same game)? Or are those days over — and the current crop of software companies are so well entrenched (thanks to the patent system) that there is no hope for a startup?