I feel that software patents are one of the more perverted parts of the patent system. One of the few things that you cannot patent is a mathematical algorithm. In my opinion software is very often quite similar to mathematical algorithms. I would love to have the patent on basic addition. I would graciously charge a very nominal fee each time anyone makes use of addition. I think everyone agrees that this would be absurd (except the owner of the patent of course). But in the world of software patents someone actually succeeded in basically patenting XOR.