The practice of intellectual property law was much simpler 25 years ago. Practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) was straightforward; the rules and procedures for patent and trademark prosecution seldom changed. The electronic revolution had not yet arrived to try and completely undermine copyright law. A two-person trial team could easily and effectively handle IP litigation because, back then, the scope of the paper discovery and complexity of a trial were readily manageable. Foreign IP disputes were almost unheard of.
But then, scientific developments, the Internet and subsequently the public electronic world, and, quite frankly, the drive for non-practicing entities (NPEs) and their lawyers to make money through patent litigation changed all that. NPEs are companies that make money by buying up patents and licensing them to others; they do not make or sell products.