Defending it != acquiring it. It seems reasonable that if your going to sue for X$ in damages you need to have an actual product in the market, or at least licence your patent to someone who actually makes it.
Take this case for example. Honeywell would simply throw together a crappy product and sell a couple of hundred of them just so they could put Nest out of business. There needs to be greater reform IMO.
Honeywell has no choice but to licence their patents to Nest. The question is simply are the patents valid, did Nest infringe, and how much can Honeywell charge Nest. That said, if a company as large as Honeywell can only point to say 50,000$ in sales for their patent protected product it's hard for them to justify outrageous licencing fees.
I don't dispute this at all, but patent reform isn't going to achieve what we want overnight. Requiring a product in the market is at least a step in the direction of eroding the position of most patent trolls. Once we've achieved that, the next step is to further raise the bar for what is defensible.