"Patents do not lead to innovation. In fact, I would argue that patents cause a dearth of (again, software) innovation. Software is always built in layers. One guy’s idea is used to generate the next set of ideas, of which the next guy builds on. Interested in Twitter? What if SMS had been patented. Or instant messaging. You’d never had seen it. How about Facebook? What if News Corp had patented the timeline for MySpace. There is very little invention in the software space. Almost all has some lineage to something that came before, physical or otherwise."
Source Elia Insider