I find this comment interesting:
"Second, the Linux community would—after some pain—figure out a way to route around the litigation; it would be real work, but it would happen."
OK, Tim, but you just wrote:
"The Lesson In software, assume that everything is already patented. You can't build anything, no matter how new it is, without infringing someone's patent."
You've got a vicious circle: in any attempt to avoid this patent (which you may not be able to do anyway, since the patent covers the method of implementation, not the actual code implementation itself) you may well end up infringing others. Remember Microsoft's proposed solution to the Eolas patent: don't perform the infringing operation (automatically scripting binary controls loaded into a page).
[Edit: Fixed nasty double-encoding error, sigh]