One of the old problems for patent office or a court is to determine whether a patent is patentable. “‘Laws of nature, natural phenomena and abstract ideas’ are not patentable under US law – but their particular inventive application is.” (source)
But with lawsuits like Apple vs. Samsung (great coverage on groklaw), it’s becoming obvious even for the hard-core patent defenders that things must change.
The Federal Circuit is now trying to come up with a test that answers whether software is patentable or just an abstract idea.
Maybe they should check this article on groklaw: What Does “Software Is Mathematics” Mean? – Part 1