"There's something about patents that infuriates a certain class of software programmer. I know because I used to be one: In 1987, I took part in a picket outside the Cambridge, Mass. offices of Lotus Software, chanting anti-patent, anti-copyright slogans ("Copyrights for look and feel! Let's go reinvent the wheel!") in response to Lotus' B-tree data structures. I've since altered my position more in favor of companies — and the people who comprise them — who spend years developing a popular application, only to see cheap or free knockoffs eliminate their potential rewards. Nevertheless, I can still appreciate the slow-burn anger of the took on Linux as well as TomTom, claiming parts of TomTom's Linux operating system violated the patents."