Does anyone still believe MS really has a patent that can affect Linux that hard? There should be tons of Unix and similar O.S. from the 70's to nuke any patent. Every supposed patent MS tries to show will get scrutinized and destroyed in no time. As long as we can see them, of course. How can your judicial system allow for a patent based suit, which includes a government granted monopoly, with the option for the plaintiff NOT disclosing the exact terms supposedly being infringed? If the company received a monopoly grant if also receives some obligations, not only rights.
The reason companies are signing patent agreements with MS is that it's painfully expensive to defend from a patent infringement suit and even more to invalidate a patent. So the cost to pay for each product is relatively small comparing to the millions spent on a trial. Look at the bill of costs from Google in Oracle vs Google: 4 million dollars on only DIRECT expenses, not counting time, bad image and so on.
This system cannot survive as it is, no new tech will ever be developed at USA (which is almost the case now), leaving USA as only leeches of other countries technology advances. If that happens, somewhere in time the other countries will stop paying USA for doing nothing, ACTA like treaties will be declared void and USA will reach a new low. No one will keep paying for rectangular shaped with round corners patents forever.
My hope is that the sanity prevails in short-to-medium time, cause it's already affecting all the economy, not only the USA. Can't you see the storm coming? This system is only making lawyers rich, the cost is growing for every one.