"For the FOSS community, the problem is not so much that patents are failing to serve their intended purpose of promoting innovation. The history of FOSS shows that innovation happens in spite of poorly conceived legal rules. The real concern is that patents may actually hinder software innovation. There are now more than 200,000 software patents, and there is no practical way to be sure that a new program does not infringe one or more of them. A patent lawsuit can cost several million dollars in attorneys’ fees. The risk of patent litigation is one that the FOSS community has learned to live with. But it hardly seems likely that the risk is doing anything other than inhibiting software innovation."