The art of stealing? latest gamers with jobs podcast talks about idea theft
thought this might be of general interest here, the relevant discussion starts around the one hour mark and delves into the EA lawsuit against Zynga. The general theme seemed to be that if the gaming world was in the habit of patenting game ideas like specific gameplay elements, we would all be worse off, even granting the fact that blatantly ripping off anothers idea is sleazy, it is even worse for gamers and developers to create idea minefields where the best ideas are not allowed to freely propagate.
software patent champions disagree.