OK, with a headline like that, you're probably saying I'm anti-patent. I'm not. All I know is that the system is broken. Seriously broken. On the one extreme, patents on software and business processes are getting awarded left and right via a process that's dubious at best -- one that does little more than clog up courtrooms and progress on technology.
On the other extreme, you have inventors like Dave Winer. Here's a guy who has almost single-handedly turned all of software and the Internet on their ears with XML-based RPCs over HTTP while also turning all of the media world upside down with his work on RSS. Two revolutions that needed to happen and maybe a third on the way (OPML). One man (with some help). No credit (that's just bad form, folks). He, like some other modern day software Edisons such as Tim Bray (co-inventor of XML), collects nothing directly off these inventions. (He is a stakeholder in Userland. whose solutions are inbred with these technologies.) If he did, he'd be richer than Bill (so would Bray). Instead, he can draw comfort