The dry, technical world of patent law apparently has a seamy underbelly. And it was all hanging out Tuesday when MultiMetrixs’ patent infringement suit against Applied Materials was irrevocably besmirched by documents supposedly signed by a dead man and a witness who’d sold freon to meth dealers.

Semiconductor equipment giant Applied had sued MultiMetrixs, a tiny Santa Clara, Calif., operation, for declaratory judgment, claiming it invented technology patented by MultiMetrixs. The small company made counterclaims that Applied was infringing on its ’187 patent, which could probably be explained in several dry, technical paragraphs.