Software patents will come before the Supreme Court this term. Generally, abstract mathematics cannot be patented. Yet the USTPO has issued many many software patents over the last several decades. Many of these patents cover simple functions and often overlap with other the claims made by other patents. Many of these patents are owned by non-practicing entities, also known as patent trolls by many, which make and sell nothing. These entities do, however, produce lawsuits against companies and person that are active in the marketplace. Major technology companies also race to accumulate these patents as both a defensive measure against lawsuits and as a sword to attack their competition.