Patents aren't all bad, its the sometimes questionably issued patents that are then abused for profit or market advantage that are the problem. I saw an example the other day of how patents should work...
Dr Burgoyne of Cambridge University said, "I've never taken the view that this is something anybody will make money on - it's just saying 'we thought of this', so that if a company comes along and tries to patent it later, they can't," - here's somebody with an invention designed to benefit everyone. Patented with the intention of protecting it from large corporate greed, which all large tech firms are guilty of in some respect.
Quote from BBC news article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18086852
If the issuing of patents was tightened up then a lot of the damaging and anti competitive lawsuits would stop. In my view a patent should only be granted for genuine innovation and only granted to the person that invented it. With the modern age it is easy to document and time stamp a development process so the originator of an idea is easier to trace. This should stop marketeers from patenting others work so that they can hold it to ransom until the market dictates its financial or destructive value. +Matthew Inman
comic with a good comparison to make: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla