Alex Brown has a recently blogged on Document Format Standards and Patents. Some points of interest: Alex expects the customXML feature should be taken out of the new OOXML Strict (the dialect of OOXML which represent what National Bodies actually want Microsoft and implementers be transitioning quickly to, from the older ECMA/Office 2007/Transitional dialect); Alex also suggests it would be a good idea to clarify ODF's exposure too.
The i4i patent seems, as I have blogged before, completely bogus. But Microsoft's legal team conducted their challenges on legalities rather than technical grounds. So we are stuck with the patent standing, until the USPTO grows a brain.
Also of interest to standards wonks is Alex's description of the ISO/IEC IPR regime.
The US patent system is a continual threat to innovation and co-operative, market-enhancing activities such as standards development: it is not an abstract thing but a real complication in the standards world. To my mind, the US system is a form of State Capitalism, discredited , where organs of the state pick winners in an incredibly arbitrary manner. Utterly counterproductive.