I am generally in favour of people and companies being allowed to patent their software, but not to patent the ideas such as using the internet to sell goods or something like that.
This is what is making the patent system unworkable. Just imagine if some book publisher had patented the idea of a murder mystery or a spy story. Then they could stop anyone else from writing similar types of stories.
You only have to look at the mainly American computer companies suing each other. They should only be allowed to protect their software from being copied or used, not to sue someone because they have produced a program which performs a similar function but is an entirely different program.