The trial that dwarfs all other tech litigation was of course United States v. Microsoft.
In 1998, U.S. regulators (and those from 20 states) accused the software maker of using its Windows monopoly to unfairly compete in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Both sides fought hard. The battle lasted several years, and involved a massive PR campaign between Microsoft and its critics. Microsoft took out full-page ads in The New York Times that tried to convince President Bill Clinton the case wasn't in the public's interest. Initially, the court wanted Microsoft split in two, but that ruling was overturned. In 2001, the software giant settled with the Justice Department.
The above photos are from a video of Bill Gates testifying during his deposition in August 1998. He was said to have verbally sparred over the definitions of such words as "compete" and "we."
In 2004, the feds filed suit and claimed Oracle would kill competition and violate antitrust laws by acquiring PeopleSoft. A federal judge found that U.S. officials had failed to prove their case.
In December 2004, Oracle announced that it had agreed to pay $10 billion for PeopleSoft. In the aftermath, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (pictured above in Washington D.C., with a friend) may have wanted PeopleSoft, but he wasn't soft on its people. He laid off more than half of the company's 11,000 employees a month after taking control.
Sure, the jury decided in May that Google had infringed the Java patents, but they couldn't decide whether it was fair use or not. Some on the jurors said Oracle never really came close to winning.
In 1974, the Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit against the old American Telephone & Telegraph company and accused it of using its monopoly powers to thwart competition. In 1984, the parties settled and the mammoth conglomerate was split into seven Bell telecommunication companies and became a much smaller AT&T.
Extra credit: Can you name the judge who oversaw the settlement? It was Judge Harold Greene who died in 2000.
Tivo initially won the case and then the courts agreed to reconsider it. Numerous other extensions meant that the dispute lasted five years before Dish and EchoStar agreed last year to cough up $500 million to settle the case.
Why, oh why, didn't we go to law school?
In 2001, MercExchange alleged that eBay's "Buy It Now" feature, which allows users to purchase items without going through the bidding process -- infringed on three of its patents.
The parties settled in 2008 when eBay agreed to purchase the patents in question.
This copyright case is by no means big in terms of dollar value but among the many Web users who pirate music and movies via torrent sites or cyberlockers, Thomas became a popular symbol of defiance against big entertainment companies.
Where's the case now? You guessed it, still in the courts.
In 2000, patent holding company NTP accused RIM of violating its wireless e-mail patents. RIM argued the technology was in the public domain before NTP's patents were registered. The jury found in favor of NTP.
In 2005, the court threatened to hit RIM with an injunction that would have forced it to stop using the e-mail technology and leave BlackBerry users in the cold. Remember, this was a time when someone still cared about RIM phones.
The Defense Department told the court that so many of its employees relied on RIM, that the phone was crucial for national defense. The two sides saved the Pentagon when RIM agreed to pay $612 million to settle.
Actually, SCO sued Novell for "slander of title" by claiming those rights for itself. SCO said the rights were part of an asset-transfer agreement the parties had entered. Novell denied this and in 2007 the court found in its favor.