This is not what patents are for and it wasn't always like this. It occurred to me that with all the accurate predictions of the future made by science fiction I don't know a SF book that directly mentions the breakdown of the patent process so that technological development stalls. If you know one, please mention the name and, if possible, author, in the comments.
And if you want to learn more about the problems with patents, the podcast is quite interesting.
** Apparently there's a difference between a computer engineer and a software engineer, so while he works with software, his degree is in computer engineering. Sorry for the confusion.