Here we go again. I employ the monopolist disclosure at linfo.org
quite often these days:
Making great efforts to suppress the development and utilization of new or improved technologies by existing and potential competitors. This is because such advances threaten the monopolist's market share and profits. There are a number of techniques that monopolists employ to suppress rivals' innovations including:
(b) Hoarding patents, by obtaining large numbers of patents for trivial or obvious ideas and by buying up patents from other companies.
One measure that is sometimes used to measure the effectiveness of research and development expenditures is the cost per patent. There can be huge differences in this figure according to the company. For example, Microsoft's expenditure to generate each of its patents is reportedly the highest for technology-oriented companies, and more than four times that for IBM5. Moreover, the usefulness of most such patents is highly questionable, as many experts are convinced that many of them are developed mainly with patent hoarding in mind and that the center of gravity of innovation in the computer and related fields is in smaller companies such as Google and Apple and in organizations and individuals focusing on free software.
edit: forgot to give credit where it was due.Edited by un-midas touch - 11/7/12 at 8:54pm