ar1550 writes "The Economist recently posted an opinion piece on the state of patent systems, describing not just the mess that is the USPTO but flaws present in Europe and Asia. From the article, "In 1998 America introduced so-called 'business-method' patents, granting for the first time patent monopolies simply for new ways of doing business, many of which were not so new. This was a mistake." The article also describes the difficulty of obtaining legitimate patents. "
We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a
clever but highly unmotivated trick.
-- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"