jfruhlinger writes "'If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.' So said Bill Gates in the 1980s. Now, of course, Microsoft is one of the biggest software patent holders around. And that's the key to the problem of software patent reform: the companies that had the most incentive to face the problem found it cheaper and easier to buy up patent war chests instead. And Congress won't act unless big stakeholders (read: big companies) make a stink."