-The subject matter is likely to be mostly to totally outside of a person's technical depth and factual experience. (Here I try and think if someone asked me to decide some question related to something like advanced particle physics, chemistry, or the tax code).
-There is not that much time to figure out what is going on (these trials tend to last less than a week of 7 hour days).
-There are many different complex topics being addressed in that time span: the patents, what is being accused, etc.
-What is said is being said by competing groups of apparently competent people.
-Those people are saying widely different things about the aforementioned complex subject matter.
-Everything is being said in an extremely serious environment (Federal Court) which lends substantial gravity to each side.
-Jurors are not to consult information beyond what is presented to them in court.
Not just "likely"; anyone who had such experience would get kicked off the jury.
Nobody on Hacker News will ever get to serve as a juror on a patent trial. (That cuts both ways, though: nobody biased towards patents will ever sit on a patent trial either.)
One of the easiest potential fixes to the US patent system would just remove the no longer warranted presumption of validity from patents.
I was disqualified from the jury on a drunk driving trial, because the defense was based in some way on the Breathalyzer and its design or calibration, and I have a BSCS.
Judges tend to think that everything should be resolved by the court, after all - they are paid to be there. Jurors tend to think that people should just sort things out without dragging innocent bystanders into a jury box.
Also, people with legal training are taught to think everything deserves compensation, and the only question is who to bill.
What does joe schmoe know about the nuances around patent law? There is a reason there are lawyers who specialize their entire practice just around patent law.
I think a system of appointed masters has its issues too. Theoretically, that is the PTOs role right?
The closest idea I've been able to think of is a modification to the jury system so that the base pool that jurors are randomly selected from consists of people with experience in that field. Essentially, the base pool is of persons of ordinary skill in the art. I have no idea how to practically implement that though.
Just curious--pretty much neutrally curious--do you feel the same way about medicine? Civil engineering?
"What does joe schmoe know about the nuances around prenatal genetic screening?"
"What does joe schmoe know about the nuances around suspension bridges?"
The numbers claimed in that Wikipedia article are wildly off. Here is a much better researched source: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1597919
Your source's analysis reflects the years 2000-2010, while the citation given for Wikipedia's article is based upon numbers provided to the New York Times for the years 1991-2006 (which included a nine-fold increase in the number of cases filed during the years 2002-2006).
Did the lawyers spend millions, or did they bill millions?
^^ The list of companies who settled with Eloas before the patent was ruled invalid.
A part of me wishes companies had a legal obligation to fight patent claims they believed to be invalid. Settling hurts us all.
Public corporations tend to go with option 2 even though they know 75% of it is bullshit. They have to list any outstanding lawsuits as liabilities every quarter. Investors ask lots of questions about these liabilities. Expenses are cheaper than liabilities so it's better to turn those liabilities into relatively, small expenses than potentially large liabilities.
Small private companies also go for option 2. Cheaper to pay them off than be billed $200/hour for a lawyer and the court fees.
Google, Amazon, Adobe, CDW Corp, JCPenney, Staples and Yahoo. 
Well done guys. Long live the fighters!
Heck, they were talking about basically shutting down the web or turning it into yet another "you have to pay big bucks to participate" medium of which we definitely have enough already.
Looks like the UC is not really so directly involved anymore; just taking it's cut from a patent it owns part of by virtue of the fact it owns part of its employees' inventions.
Amusingly, ViolaWWW, one of the pieces of prior art used by the defendants, was written by a Berkeley student.
Also, find out who has donated large amounts of money, cold call them too, and complain to them also.
It is not in the jury's remit to "grasp the true ramifications of this claim". They have to judge it based solely on the merits of the case and the law being applied.
If Eolas had a valid case then they should be paid, even if it means problems with companies that are "too big to fail" and the rest of us.
When you're exposed to a field more (lots of cases kinda do that), you start to think more like a person in that field and suddenly previously non-obvious things are obvious!
2) Patent it.
4) Sue EVERYONE.
5) Now any juror on a case will have an opinion on IP law.