A really big issue that a lot of people have problems with is software patents. According to Wikipedia, some of the big issues with software patents include:
- Where the boundary between patentable and non-patentable software should lie
- Whether the inventive step and non-obviousness requirement is applied too loosely to software
- Whether patents covering software discourage, rather than encourage, innovation
One famous example of questionable software patents is Amazon's patent on 1-Click checkout which was initially granted by the USPTO in 1999, re-examined in 2007 and finally revised in 2010 due to much debate regarding its validity. The idea of simplifying a user's buying experience by reducing the number of actions required to complete a transaction seems like common sense to just about anyone, so why should patents like these be legitimate?
As a professional or a hobbyist, how do you feel about software patents? Do they crush innovation by locking down [often] common-sense ideas, or are they a necessity of success and profitability?