Here's the problem, even ignoring issues like software patents, and the morass they cause.
The USPTO has stated that they're overwhelmed, so they're just checking the paperwork, and if its all in order, they rubber stamp it and grant the patent, the courts can sort out what patents are valid, they say.
Meanwhile, the Courts are continuing to defer to the expertise of the patent office, and are EXTREMELY "reluctant" to void patents.
So we get any invention, no matter how obvious, no matter how old, being patentable. And as long as you're smart about who you sue as a patent troll, (pick targets who can't afford to defend themselves, and file in known friendly courts), you're golden.
The system is totally borked.