Software and Business patents Bad idea...
Look, this has been hashed and rehashed and the only one who wins are the lawyers.
Here's the problem...
Some git of a judge decided that business and software patents should be allowed. So any concept that exists in the real world but hadn't been patented in the 'virtual world' was fair game.
So now everyone one and his brother who thinks they came up with a genius idea will now attempt to get a patent. They flood the patent office with garbage and sometime the 'legalese' description is so poorly written, I seriously doubt that the USPTO knows what the patent is supposed to be doing.
Add to this that they have to research the world and try to discover prior Art, or rely on some generous third party to help find the existence of 'prior art', and you have a system where dumb shit ideas can be patented.
Now here's the real kicker. If the patent is granted, and the patent holder sues another company, the burden of proof is to show that the other company didn't violate the patent. Its not a place to overturn a bad patent. So either way, the guy getting sued has to shell out major bucks to defend itself from garbage.
The easy fix is to nullify any software or business patent unless the patent holder can show that it wasn't obvious at the time and that there wasn't an existing 'real world' analogy in practice. Like 1 click shopping. (Gee... ever walk in to a small town's hardware store where everyone has a store account and all the clerk has to do is write up the order, the person signs and walks out with the stuff? ) [You can go and watch 'little house on the prarie re-runs and you have your 'prior art']
But that fix will never happen because big corporations, lawyers, etc don't want it to happen.
Think of Groupon losing one of their barriers to entry so that they don't have as many competitors willing to risk a lawsuit....