Well, if you were waiting to verify the assertion that Patents indeed were useless - here comes the evidence from empirical research on cost and benefits of holding patent rights.
The book is called Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk.
The author's interview at Forbes is really an eye opener - for people who have been following blind anyway...
Meurer and Bessen concluded that in every industry, except pharmaceuticals and biotech, publicly traded companies spend more money litigating to protect existing patents and paying fees to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office than they earn from the same patents. (Bessen and Meurer evaluated patents issued by all publicly traded companies between 1984 and 1999.)