There are a lot of problems with today's patent system, but there is no single "silver bullet" solution to solve them all. Disbanding the patent system altogether will never happen. It does have a noble purpose when applied properly. However, it has become a cash cow whereby companies patent every single thought of their employees in order to build a "patent portfolio". The first obvious fix is to define business method patents and ban them. They are ridiculous. How that is done, I don't know. Another thought is to develop some sort of Devil's Advocate system, where an examiner is assigned to each patent who sole job is to disprove an applications patentability. A final thought is to somehow tax patents as though they were the valued assets they are represented to be. Taxing patents on transfer is easy enough, and may be done already (although this tax should be upped, if the original inventor isn't using the patent). There are ways to make things better. It just takes some thoughtful debate and a willingness of the politicians and bureaucrats to effect some change. Enough "big corporations" are getting burnt by patents to provide some momentum, I hope.
wiredog writes: At least 22 people have been killed and 21 more injured by a gunman (who is one of those killed) at Virginia Tech. This is a more people than were killed in the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999. A statement from the University President here. Coverage from the BBC, and The Washington Post.