The US House just passed a law to revise US patent law. The Senate has already passed it's own patent law, so after the House-Senate conference resolves the differences, it will go to Obama for signature.
Speaking as someone who worked in new product development for forty years, the US patent system is research and development hostile. Develop something, get it into production and bingo, get sued. There is always some patent troll holding a vaguely worded patent with claims as broad as all outdoors demanding money. Things like "Use of computer to transmit data", or "Register customer's sale after one mouse click."
These are mickey mouse patents that should never have been granted, but they were granted, and now some lawyers use them to take money away from developers.
What we need is to tighten up the granting of patents, and make it easier to revoke the mickey-mouse patents that are out there.
What are we going to get? More welfare for lawyers. They want to change the US system from "first to invent" to "first to file a patent". This is good for lawyers, 'cause it requires every inventor to file an expensive patent as early as possible. Right now you don't have to file until the idea shapes up to the point that it has some economic possibilities. Under "first-to-file" you better file as soon as possible, lest the idea leak out and some troll files first. Result, lots and lots of patent applications. Plus, large companies with legal staff have it easier filing a patent than a small startup does.