Since there is some really stupid minor patent reform thing going on. I found this quote to be pretty much where I stand on the matter:
John Carmack (id Software) - 2005
"In the majority of cases in software, patents [affect] independent invention. Get a dozen sharp programmers together, give them all a hard problem to work on, and a bunch of them will come up with solutions that would probably be patentable, and be similar enough that the first programmer to file the patent could sue the others for patent infringement. Why should society reward that? ... The programmer that filed the patent didn't work any harder because a patent might be available, solving the problem was his job and he had to do it anyway. ... Yes, it is a legal tool that may help you against your competitors, but I'll have no part of it. It's basically mugging someone."