New York Times - Review of Microsoft and Patents
This New York Times op-ed contribution from the Cato Institute (thinktank) is probably something you might be interested in. It says that Bill Gates once said that Bill Gates wrote in '91 that he was worried about patents killing his business because the USA started allowing software patents in the '80s. At that point Bill decided he would have to get as many software patents as he could in order to protect his company. So, he basically did the senseless, contradictory thing of being worried about patents hurting his business, so he takes out patents to hurt other people's business. The genius at the Cato Institute seems to be just coming around to realizing that software has protections already in copyrights, and that software patents not only are redundant to that, but also kill companies, including the negative impact that the patent lawsuit that Verizon has brought against Vonage is doing.
It's good to have a friend in a thinktank speak so audibly in a world-reknowned newspaper, but I would reason to bet that they're just suddenly coming around to think about this. The author probably has never heard of the FSF or GNU.