I hope many of you remembers the SCO affair, where Microsoft invested in a proxy company in order to create fear, uncertainty and doubt around the Linux project, claiming copyright infringement. A new strategy of the patent mafia to kill a software product could be to use a proxy company filled with patents to kill a competitor. I think Mr Perens has already saw the future of the patent game in its petition "Protest the Microsoft-Novell Patent Agreement":
Most troubling are the patents owned by "patent trolls", companies that produce no products other than patents and thus can not be deterred by patent counter-threats from organizations like OIN. Microsoft has invested in at least one explicit "troll" company, which can use its patents offensively as a proxy of Microsoft without exposing Microsoft to counter-suits, anti-trust issues, or Microsoft's agreement with Novell.
And the worst is that a ProxyTroll, if successful in court to kill your software product, can still obtain damages…
It's like the mafia, just do the dirt job by others!