The semi-legendary Gervase Markham of Mozilla has done probably the best non-programmer’s presentation of why Software Patents are bad.
From the article:, entitled “Software is Special”
The uniqueness of software means that software and patents have unique interactions. For example, a drug is usually covered by a single patent. But high complexity means a piece of software may use thousands of different ideas and so is potentially subject to as many different patents – the holders of any of which could force the software to be made less functional to avoid their patent or take a percentage of your earnings.
A real worthwhile read for you, and anyone you know who you needs to know why Software Patents are a bad idea.