The basis of the patent system is a reliance by the public on the strength of issued patents. Every group and advocate has complained of this one issue in one way or another. In some cases, such as in Europe, there is a move afoot to abolish at least a portion of the patent system which may or may not cover most of the inventions in the last 10 years. In other cases, groups like EFF have started a publicized ‘patent-busting’ campaign.
The people with a vested interest, the patent holders themselves, also want their patent to be respected and honored without having to resort to costly litigation.
What can be done about it? I think everybody should take some responsibility for the solution. There are basically two groups involved, the patent practitioners and the PTO.