As reported by the Washington Post:
"The case puts a spotlight on the nation's troubled patent system, which
recent studies by the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal
Trade Commission have described as plagued by questionable patents and
You can read the full sad story here.
These people just don't get it. There is a tremendous difference between patenting a thought like a "buy it now button" (how ridiculous is that?) vs. patenting a drug that has a physical manifestation.
In the end, software patents have the problem that they do not represent "a verifiable unambiguous result". Once you've got a patent on some algorithm you start seeing that algorithm everywhere like a little kid with a hammer seeing everything as a nail. This results in the patent jackpot that attorneys talk about.
Why this isn't clear as day to the whole world is simply beyond words.