Patently O has recently reported that there could be over 200 pending patent applications that have filing dates that pre-date June 8, 1995. See l. Why should you care? If these patent applications mature into patents, they will have a term of 17 years from issuance. As Patently O points out, they could be quite valuable because they could be directed at technology dating back over 15 years ago. Indeed, whole industries might have developed around such technology. Finding prior art to invalidate these patents could be difficult.
There’s no need to believe that the sky is falling. However, if you are licensing technology from someone else, it might be advisable to get strong, uncapped indemnification provisions in case one of these patents emerges.