Bill Gates says that patents stifle innovation and competition:
If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. [...] The solution is patenting as much as we can. A future startup with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose. That price might be high. Established companies have an interest in excluding future competitors.
–Bill Gates, 1991
(Sure, you’ve probably seen this one, but it’s good to keep in mind.)
But it’s ok! As long as Microsoft holds the patents, I’m sure they’ll keep our best interests at heart. Especially if they don’t have to worry about all those pesky competitors.
I mean, really, the brazen impudence of these GNU/Linux companies, having the nerve to provide an operating system in which Microsoft doesn’t “earn” their monopoly profit. It all seems so unfair.