I find the catch-22 the nortel patent auction caused fascinating.
From the article: "The complaint tries to use the fact that Google bid for the patents as an extra point against the search giant."
Not participating in the auction risks leaving you open to patent attack. Participating in the auction also opens you up to attack. In a sense not participating wasn't really an option but the act of participating meant the losers potentially risk losing even worse than they would have in the first place.