The U.S. Supreme Court last week became the latest battleground in the war between software and big tech companies that want to weaken patents and groups like biopharma companies, VCs and universities that rely on strong patent protection.

SCOTUS heard oral arguments in Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership et al. If Microsoft wins its bid to make it easier to invalidate patents in courts, patent attorneys contacted by BioCentury think the floodgates could open for lawsuits where lay juries would decide the validity of biotech patents. As a corollary, VCs would have a much harder time assessing the IP protection on new technologies.