The main thing I think the patent industry needs is to drastically cut the length of time patents can be held for. Especially in the bio-med industry and pretty much the rest of the tech sector in general.
Obvious stuff, things found in nature, and equations (which includes programs) are supposed to be un-patentable.
I think they just need to follow the rules.
Cases in point:
*There is a patent on waking up a printer when a print job MIGHT be sent to the printer (I found this one because I was trying to figure out how to start the printer warming up when I start the word processor.. the patent has ZERO info on HOW to wake the printer up..they just patented the IDEA of waking the printer up)
*There is a patent on playing a game while waiting for the main game to load...because it took such a huge leap in intuition for game makers to think of people playing games to pass the time.
*One click shopping...sure, since the 1800's or before someone could go into a store they had an account at and point at something and say "Delivery me one of those"... But now it can be done with a mouse....really...pointing...with a mouse instead of a finger. It had to be a genius to think of that AFTER the mouse was already invented and being used for a pointer.
Maybe smarter people in the patent office is the real solution.