The defensive patent arms race, and companies’ consequent focus on quantity rather than quality as they build their portfolios, causes them and others many problems. This article in Intellectual Asset Magazine exposes the role that practicing companies themselves and their patenting practices have had in keeping patent quality low, the backlog long, and patent trolls well-stocked with patents. It discusses various methods for fostering patent peace including by outlawing certain types of "arms" (a software patent ban), making patents harder to obtain or hold onto (i.e. by increasing registration/maintenance fees), and making patents less nuclear (e.g. by introducing an independent invention defense).
Chien, C. (2012, January). Race to the bottom. Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, 51, 10-17.