NYTimes - most patents not worth the cost

The New York Times reports on a study analysing data from 1976 to 1999 comparing the costs of patent litigation to the profits generated by patents. The conclusion of the study is that patents are worthwhile for the pharmaceutical industry but that's about it.

“Today, over all, patents don’t work; for the information technology industry especially, they don’t work,”

Note that they're not saying that companies shouldn't apply for patents, but that the total cost to the industry outweighs the total benefits, and so patent reform of some kind is needed.