"As for software patents, the history of software patents is complicated. There's very good reason to exclude software from patents. The EFF's Patent Busting project has some great examples of why software shouldn't be included in the patent system. Some of these examples: patent on VoIP, patent for online gaming and the patent on encoding digital music. While there are great examples that justify the idea of excluding software from the patent system, there is probably already a good deterrent to keep software out of the patent system already. Typically, a patent involves submitting information on how such a thing works. Since most commercial companies aren't willing to give up the source code, software is usually copyrighted and not patented because copyright doesn't require details on how it works to be submitted."