It's basically a free-for-all grab what you can battle. It's a tool for stupid lawsuits. Most patents, yes most, are idiotic and shouldn't be allowed.
Marvel and DC own the word "superhero" through trademark...
Magic the Gathering's Wizard's of the Coast owns "tapping" cards. Yes, they own the act of turning a card ninety degrees. They've literally SUED a lot of people because they turn things ninety degrees too.
The fact that expired patents can be grabbed and repatented by anyone so easily is ridiculous. This leads to pure crap like...
Patenting an action that's thousands of years old. I know someone who made jewelry and there's a certain technique that is thousands of years that she used to make some of her jewelry. Literally thousands of years old. Well, someone patented it so she couldn't do it anymore!
Not to mention that companies sometimes horde patents that would be hugely beneficial to society just to protect their profits. That should be a criminal offense with a life sentence.
I recognize the need for patents and trademarks but the laws behind them are too often stupid.