Remember Lodsys? The small LLC that basically invented the term ‘patent troll’ made news in 2011 when it started going after App Store developers for infringing on obscure, abstract patent filings. It sued small app developers for outrageous amounts because it claimed to own the definitive patents on in-app purchases and the general concept of an upgrade button.
The issue with Lodsys was that its sole business was buying up patents in bulk and using them to sue the pants off devs. Many devs don’t have the resources to finance a legal battle of that nature, so Lodsys would then settle with a lot of its victims outside of court. Apple went up to bat for its third-party devs in court a couple years ago, and today Apple’s motion to intervene was thrown out.