It is often said that patent law is the sport of kings. O.k., it's not, but it should be.
Patent attorneys cost a great deal more than ordinary counsel, as they typically hold degrees in both law and a science. For small time inventors, this often results in a cost benefit analysis when it comes to patent enforcement. It also begs the question: what good is a patent if you can't afford to enforce it?
One could image a number of effects that this might have on American innovation and invention. For one, inventors might just become discouraged. Why continue to innovate when someone else with more money will simply replicate? Another possibility is that inventors will be forced to chose between either allowing infringement, or selling their patent at a reduced value to larger companies with bigger budgets.