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Submission + - USPTO issued 40,964 software patents in 2006

PatPending writes: The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded 40,964 software patents in 2006, according to data compiled by the Public Patent Foundation. Software patents filed in 2006 grew by 36 per cent year-over-year, and have been on a gradual increase since the USPTO first started awarding them in 1982.

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2172017/2006-sof tware-patent

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.