We often complained about software patents, but Joel Spolsky, the co-founder and CEO of stackexchange, did something lot more useful. He created a stackexchange forum for USPTO and allow crowd-sourcing to work to kill bad software patents. The blog post Victory Lap for Ask Patents by Joel Spolsky presents an example of using crowd-sourcing to kill a stupid software patent from Microsoft !!
My dream is that when big companies hear about how friggin easy it is to block a patent application, theyll use Ask Patents to start messing with their competitors. How cool would it be if Apple, Samsung, Oracle and Google got into a Mexican Standoff on Ask Patents? If each of those companies had three or four engineers dedicating a few hours every day to picking off their competitors applications, the number of granted patents to those companies would grind to a halt. Wouldnt that be something!
We surely hope his dream comes true.