graeme_p - 11:30 am on Jul 7, 2010 (gmt 0)
Copyright does apply to software, so you get the copyright litigation plus the patent litigation. In fact software can be copyright, patented and a trade secret all at once.
Suppose I spend six months developing a completely new software technology why should I have no rights (beyond bragging) to that work?
Why is that society's problem? If we abolish software patents and copyrights you could stop developing software, but plenty of other people would carry on, so who cares?
Anyway, as things stand, if we abolish patents, you would still have the copyright, which is a lot more than bragging rights.
I do not understand your last paragraph. Are you unaware that software is covered by copyright, and always has been? You are describing the current situation, except that we have patent litigation on top of it!