I just found this very interesting statement buried at the end of a somewhat unrelated article by Paul Graham:
"I once explained this to some founders who had recently arrived from Russia. They found it novel that if you threatened a company they'd pay a premium for you. "In Russia they just kill you," they said, and they were only partly joking. Economically, the fact that established companies can't simply eliminate new competitors may be one of the most valuable aspects of the rule of law. And so to the extent we see incumbents suppressing competitors via regulations or patent suits, we should worry, not because it's a departure from the rule of law per se but from what the rule of law is aiming at."
— Paul Graham, Startup = Grow
Hopefully the spirit of the law will eventually prevail...