It's not surprising that the folks at SBC (a member of the former Bell monopoly) have chosen to assail the "little guys" first as it is common practice in patent cases to attempt to use one organization's capitulation as evidence to the court that a patent is valid.
That doesn't make it right.
I'm reminded of a Hayes/US Robotics dispute over the +++ patent (which was later prosecuted successfully against other modem manufacturers). At the time, a friend of mine had used a nearly identical mechanism in a program he had written and was hired by one of the parties to come testify to that fact. In the final minutes before his testimony, the two companies reached a cross- licensing agreement wherein they decided to attack the remaining modem manufacturers. None of the other manufacturers ever found my friend's information.
Yep, competition at its best.
Oh well, neither company exists and the modem industry isn't that important any more, but it still is an important lesson the industry and intellectual property holders..html