I’ve weighed in with my opinion on patents—particularly software patents—a few times. For the most part, I think software patents are a very bad idea, because they describe process, and process can’t be patented.
Unless, of course, it can be.
“The Facebook Patent” (7,669,123) is one example of a patent that describes a process, but no thing. Amazon Patent 7,739,139 is even worse in this regard. Both talk about how something works, but don’t actually describe anything that’s been “created” other than an idea. Ideas can’t be patented. Business Process therefore can’t be patented either.