""Others praise patents, even for software applications. The patent protects investment that would not be directed at software development if that protection did not exist. The patent specification opens up inventions for everyone to read, thus enriching the state of the art and saving developers the need to reinvent the programmer's equivalent of the wheel." This is patently untrue for the software world, which happily invested in software development for decades before software patent madness took over. Microsoft is actually a good example of a company that succeeded without feeling the need to try to patent its software, in the early days at least. And Bill Gates famously noted that the success of his company would actually have been impossible had software patents existed and been held by rival companies."