"We're starting to be in a world where they might start to stifle innovation?"
On my planet -- which coincidentally we also call "Earth" -- patents have long since been stifling innovation, at least in software development. A small company opens its doors, finds a modicum of success, and suddenly a Non-Practicing Entity (what I believe you people call a "patent troll") shows up to claim infringement on an intentionally vague, clearly obvious patent that it managed to purchase. The small company may find it cheaper to pay off the NPE, or may simply go out of business. For giant corporations, this kind of thing is okay and perhaps even a beneficial means of eliminating disruptive upstart competition. But for the small guys (what the economists on your world call "the real job creators"), it's deadly.