"For society, however, the loss of competition through the granting sole rights to an individual or organisation is justified only if it stimulates the economy and delivers goods that change people’s lives for the better. […] Instead of stimulating innovation, such [business method] patents seem more about extracting “rents” from innocent bystanders going about their business. […] If truth be told, few inventions are really worth patenting. Time and again, surveys show that in both America and Europe companies rate superior sales and service, lead time and secrecy as far more important than patents when it comes to profiting from innovation. […] Pursuing patents aggressively for cross-licensing agreements has little to do with encouraging innovation, though. Indeed, by increasing transaction costs, such deals are in effect a tax on innovation. By the same token, how much of a contribution have the 12,000 or so business processes patented annually in America (but few places elsewhere) made to innovation? Precious little, by all accounts. It is hard enough to find evidence (outside the pharmaceutical and biotech industries) showing that the patent system generally spurs innovation. It is harder still to find justification for business-process patents."