Please read this article to understand why patents usually suck and cause more harm than good. An excerpt:
…when I worked on the Virtual Rollercoaster (aka Cyberspace Mountain ride), Disney bought itself a patent for the ride, though the "inventors" listed were the twenty assorted managers of the project (even the executive V.P. in charge), and not one of the actual ride developers who had worked so hard…
The question being asked here is: Where is the incentive to invent things when just about everyone is bound by contract to their employer to hand over the patent rights on just about anything they invent?
Working as a programmer I am constantly annoyed that the standard boilerplate in contracts insists that any invention [device, method, etc] created by the programmer while working for company X shall automatically become the property of said company, even if the creation is unrelated to the commissioned work and the domain of company X’s regular business. I always have those clauses struck out or modified, because they suck and are incredibly unfair.