Yes. Many patents aren't weaponized, and are defensive. The media, and many here, are focussing on the case where desperate companies like Yahoo are using them as weapons. I would wager the vast majority of patents are not used in this way.
Many arguments here focus on the philosophical "you can't own an idea." This may be true, but the practical reason for patents (justifiable philosophically or not) is to incentivize the development of new technologies. I've experienced the benefit of this thinking first hand, growing up with two engineer parents who, between them, owned/created somewhere around 30 patents.
Fact of the matter is they wouldn't have worked on these technologies if another company could legally come in, replicate their product exactly, and take a significant slice of potential market share. You can call that greedy, but the money that the patent protection afforded my parents (and many other inventors and the companies they work for) feeds families.
On a corporate level, I witnessed the work my parents did for Motorola and National Instruments in the early 90s get ripped off by other companies. When this occurred, the violating companies had a few choices: stop using that tech in that way, license it, or be bought out by the patent owning company. That was what was offered before litigation occurred. You can call this destructive, but ask yourself this ... would you, as an engineer or owner of a company, invest in the development of a product if you knew it was going to be ripped off right away and you wouldn't make nearly as much money as you could? If such robbery were legal, the incentive to invest in development would be diminished greatly.
Is Yahoo's use of these patents frivolous? Absolutely. But let's not universalize here and categorize all patents as bad. I support innovation and the free spread of ideas, but there is a price to pay when you no longer incentivize the commercialization of those ideas, and destroy the tools that allow creators to hope for profit protected by law.