Tom Lee has some more background on software patents, for those of you who seem to think these are a good idea. Remember that, yes, stronger IP protections create larger financial incentives to innovate. But they also make it more expensive to innovate and ultimately reduce the level of competition. You can already copyright your software so people can’t just go and copy what you’ve done.
Adding a layer of patent protection on top of that makes life too difficult for programmers (who don’t know what they’re allowed to do and may not be able to afford to do it) and too comfortable for incumbents.