@ Grease Monkey
"However far too many patents that are granted these days seem to be invalid. It seems that the system now works on the principal of granting patents and then reviewing them later. More money for the patent lawyers I suppose."
Half-correct on the factual observation, incorrect about the deduction: standards of many Patent Offices have tended to slip slipped because of overwork/application overload, and are now being addressed (now that Patent Offices can breathe again, since everybody and their dog has run out of cash to file applications).
'More dubious' applications are being routinely dismissed (especially in the software/IT field) in the shortest-possible sumary manner (US/EP/UK), and have been for a while.
'Less dubious' applications are granted quick to let the applicant and his competitor(s) sort out validity in pre- or post-grant review/opposition proceedings.
All in the name of "clearing the backlog".
The Patent Offices are driving the facts behind your observation, not IP professionals, who are caught in the cross-fire as it happens: how do you advise clients reliably about procedures measured in years, when these days Patent Offices change the proverbial yardstick (examination guidelines based on case law) every other month?
Mine's the one with the Article 56 rejection, because the business person told the programmer how to implement everything.