A number of readers have been ruminating about the worthiness of the U.S. patent system as it relates to software. Herb Wamsley, executive director of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, provides some more perspective on the patent mess in this article. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is underfunded, understaffed, and incapable of handling the growing wave of technologically complex patent applications flooding in. "In sum, the system is overwhelmed, underfunded and grinding to a halt," Wamsley writes. When the system breaks down, in come the lawyers.