Here is a patent philosophy issue to mull over:

Are patents worthless to startups?  Guy Kawasaki (marketing guru and the author of the How to Change the World Blog) says they are here.  He suggests that, with the exceptions of biotech, chip design and medical devices, startups generally cannot afford the time or money necessary to litigate, so "the most valuable outcomes of a patent are often impressing your parents and filling up space in your MySpace profile."  Not surprisingly, Guy’s post resulted in some very strong negative responses from both patent prosecutors and litigators.  Guy generously posted this well articulated response which identifies that patents have both litigation and non-litigation benefits that all companies should consider, whether startups or well-established Fortune 100s.

Thanks to Rethink(IP): J. Matthew Buchanan, Douglas J. Sorocco, and Stephen M. Nipper for defending the value of patents.