Indeed "BigCorp" being "BigCorp".
Yes one does not expect any better and no I am not impressed with Google playing "poor put upon little me". However, this whole situation has spiralled completely out of control.
1. Patents have mutated from being something that protected your invention and the investment you put into it into an offensive weapon to be deployed to attack competitors.
2. Patents have become a commodity in themselves attracting the attention of companies/speculators who have never invented anything nor made any form of product.
3. Patents can be granted for vague ideas/concepts/generalisations which are only intended to plant as large an anti-competitive minefield in the market as possible with no intention of ever actually producing an example of what has been patented. This does not just apply to software patents, we have seen a number of patent applications recently for alleged hardware products that very clearly are the very definition of "vapourware".
The whole business has gone so far that even companies who *might* have preferred to avoid this kind of poisonous nonsense are now forced to join in in self-defence. Unfortunately very little will be done until "BigCorp" has created such a polluted fuck-up in the market that *they* are beginning to take damage *and* the politicians begin to take notice. Shame really because by the time they finally admit that this is not smart, that they themselves are taking long term damage, the amount of collateral damage they will have done is going to be pretty extensive - and here we are talking major economic damage with ramifications way outside their own industry. Anybody listening up there on Capitol Hill or has BigCorp paid you too much to *not* wake up?