According to the Constitution of the United States, the purpose of patents is to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts." Thus, the basic question at issue is whether software patents, supposedly a method of encouraging software progress, will truly do so, or will retard progress instead.
So far we have explained the ways in which patents will make ordinary software development difficult. But what of the intended benefits of patents: more invention, and more public disclosure of inventions? To what extent will these actually occur in the field of software?
There will be little benefit to society from software patents because invention in software was already flourishing before software patents, and inventions were normally published in journals for everyone to use. Invention flourished so strongly, in fact, that the same inventions were often found again and again.