I think everybody should get one patent. Based on how easy it is to get a patent for something these days I think they should just get rid of the whole process and just give everybody a patent # when they are born.
Here are a couple of examples on how easy it is to get a patent that is neither new nor novel nor interesting in any way.
Microsoft recently lost a court case against a person who with a patent with the following description:
“(d)istributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document.”
What this means, for everybody is that this person who never wrote a single line of code got a patent for the idea of a browser plugin and if Microsoft cannot persuade a judge to reverse this, all browsers sold or distributed will have to remove or change the entire method for plugins. This effects every piece of Flash, embedded video, and PDF on the web.