Where is the end-game for the Smartphone app patent wars?

From the other Ewan:

 Indeed, if you really, really want to screw up Apple, one would imagine that you should setup a company, invent a lot of useless stupid patents — or buy some existing ones for a lump of dosh — and set-about PR’ing the hell out of your infringement war, scaring all and sundry and demanding millions in compensation from each developer. You obviously wouldn’t need to go through with it to have an effect on Apple. Twitter, Facebook (and now Google+) mean that our world is super-hyper-amazingly connected. Developers even more so. What would happen to Apple’s share price if this practice became widespread?

The whole idea of software patents (“we thought of putting text below an icon before you did, now give us squillions of dollars compensation”) is ludicrous, but this attack on small developers, or at least the small developers thinking they’re next, could unravel the current paradigm of smartphone+app store in a serious way.

Make no mistake, Simon Maddox is not a fly by night developer, he’s respected, he’s smart, he’s built a Paypal enabled remote controlled quadricopter with me, and if he’s withdrawing from the US iOS App Store and putting contingency funds in a separate bank account… well the chilling effect has started already.