The problem isn't the lawyers aren't inventive...
The problem is that the inventors are bad at lawyering.
Once upon a time, long, long, ago (before 1/1/84, to be precise) there was an American behemoth called the "Bell System". Through its Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) component, it carried on much basic and applied research. Pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934, which exempted the Bell System from the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Bell System had to -give away- all its inventions except to other telephony companies such as GTE. This was paid for by high long-distance rates.
BTL was chopped up into "AT&T Laboratories", "AT&T Bell Laboratories", and "Bell Communications Research" ("Bellcore".) Over the years, some units of these entities were acquired by SAIC - wherein lies the problem: engineers running these units and SAIC were lousy at enforcing patents. It wasn't in their historical corporate culture.
Solution: Lawyers buy the patents (probably for more money than SAIC could figure out how to get out of them) and make a profit. Long-distance calls are cheap now... but the basic research still has to be paid for. Didn't anyone ever hear of TANSTAAFL? The piper now needs paying.
Maybe SAIC will eventually figure out how to enforce patents on their own, as a new generation comes to work there.