John you have to get past the "patent" BS and how worthless, time wasting and money wasting they are to FOCUS on. A good article in Forbes really helps break it down in simple terms.
It seems he tried to start and build a business around them.
A small excerpt:
My suggestions for a small technology companies*:
"Don’t base your business strategy on patents. And don’t try to raise money primarily on the basis of patents; most likely this will fail and you will appear naïve.
It’s worthwhile to file patents for your key inventions in the U.S. (what patent-savvy universities do), but don’t go much beyond that.
Pay close attention to patents that others hold which might enable competitors to block you. In my experience “freedom to operate” is more important when evaluating a business plan than patent ownership.
It will rarely make sense for a small company to sue a big company for patent infringement. The lawyers will probably be the winners.
Non-patent intellectual property strategies can hold off copycats effectively. Trade secrets (parts of the product or production technology that are hard for competitors to replicate), knowledge of customers, and superior rate of innovation work best.
Build your business on real competitive advantages: product value-in-use, customer relationships, rapid innovation. Don’t count on patents to defend you from your competitors."
See the final statement ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
And of course, the "lawyers will probably be the winners"