ComputerWorld recently run an article about the threats of Patents to innovation in the field of Open Source Software. While this is very much a clear and present threat to Open Source Software, it is also a threat to software development houses throughout the country. Innovation is being resitrcted, not encouraged, due to the use of patents to cripple companies and extract large settlements. Examples such as the Eolas patent and the Blackberry saga prove that no company is too big to be extorted for millions of dollars. Suddently the whole idea of developing software, closed or open, is a risky proposal indeed.