USA vs. rest of world patent system
A lot of the complaints coming from the USA don't apply so much in other places like Europe. In my experience the quality of patent filings and examination is a lot higher here -- I've very rarely had a patent application rejected in the USA but the EPO has very often found valid prior art, needing modification of the patent to either explain clearly why this is different, to narrow the claims, or sometimes to just withdraw the application.
We also don't have the same troll/PAE problem as the USA for the reasons stated earlier, software patents as such are not allowed, and the costs of patent lawsuits are not as stupidly high. So don't assume the system is as badly broken worldwide as it is in the USA, because it isn't.
It's still not perfect, patents get granted which shouldn't, and companies use them to stifle a market instead of energising one by leading it. But without patents there's no reward for innovation, you can spend years and millions developing something radical and new and then see it directly copied in a few months by somebody who then undercuts you (because they haven't spent loads doing the development) and takes the market away.
But the criteria of it being novel and non-obvious should be rigorously applied -- especially in the USA -- to prevent stupidities like patenting a rectangle with rounded corners and a screen on one face...