I found this debate pretty interesting. Recently, there has been some controversy about the validity of patenting processes, which would directly affect software patents as well. The argument is that, since software is, in its most basic sense, purely mathematical, that it cannot be patented.
If this argument is upheld, I'm unsure of the repercussions for the world at large, but two things are for certain: Microsoft and Apple would be VERY unhappy, and the term "open-source software" would become a redundant phrase.
Since I have aspirations of becoming a patent attorney dealing with technology of this sort, I feel that this news directly affects me. I may have to adjust my career goals lol!
Here's the article I read.