IAM has an interesting article about the new business models for making money out of patents. The authors of the article don't see trolls going away, even with the clueless patent reform being discussed in the US Congress and the Senate:
Over recent years a number of new business models for making money out of IP have emerged and along with them have come the IP intermediaries. They may not be universally loved, but they show no signs of going away. In fact, we can expect to see many more evolve.
The authors expect more trolls to come:
More to come
It is clear that the players, and their attitudes, that dominated the feudal period will no longer carry the day. The newly established and emerging IP business models (and the players exercising such models) are not going away. That is, neither US Supreme Court decisions such as eBay and KSR, nor any of the so-called anti-patent troll legislative proposals floating through Congress, will force intermediaries out of the market.
With as much as three-quarters of the value of publicly traded companies in America coming from intangible assets, and global IP licensing revenue now being measured in the hundreds of billions of dollars, there is simply too much economic justification for such entities to exist. In fact, new players implementing the IP business models described herein are continually surfacing. And creative new IP business models will surely come into existence. Why? Quite simply, the business of IP (ie, the IP marketplace) itself is fertile ground for innovation!
Read carefully the "there is simply too much economic justification for such entities to exist". Everybody understands their business model, but not everybody will agree that there is much economic justification for them to exist. Personally, it remembers me the laddy bug on the webshop:
Ladybugs are very useful insects. They dispose of parasites. However, software patent litigators are far too large for them in general.