Patents are a state granted monopoly on an idea and, as with any state institution, they protect the wealthy while preventing new innovators from entering the field. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) put together an excellent chart that explains how the patent system work:
Only the wealthy can afford to file for and defend a patent. This is even worse when it comes to software patents as they requires no physical invention. Instead software patents requires only an idea, something as simple as a double-tap on a screen.
Intellectual property is anything but intellectual.