This post by Paul Vick is, I think, a very honest and representative take on software patents -- and in particular the over-the-top IsNot patent -- from the point of view of an innovator. I find myself agreeing with him wholeheartedly:
Microsoft has been as much a victim of this as anyone else, and yetwe're right there in there with everyone else, playing the game. It'sbecome a Mexican standoff, and there's no good way out at the momentshort of a broad consensus to end the game at the legislative level.
And we all know how Mexican standoffs typically end. Paul, myname is on a couple of patents which I'm not proud of either. Butin the current environment, there really isn't a choice: We're alllocked in to locally 'least bad' courses, which together work toguarantee the continuation of the downward spiral (and in the long run,make all companies worse off -- other than Nathan Myhrvold's, of course.)