On eWeek, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes an opinion column on software patents:
Opinion: Software patents are bad for both open- and closed-source developers, not to mention for anyone who buys software. Isn’t it time we get rid of them once and for all?
The point is that ideas can’t (or at least should not) be patented.  Only the implementation of it can.
Read the article here: Software Patents Gone Bad