Would be interested to know if Ron Paul has commented on this. Certainly a big deal now with the iphone vs droid, but this is a much larger issue in IT and beyond.
The core problem with patents is...what if somebody else would have thought of it on their own? In such a case the, the government patent turns into an artificial monopoly that artificially suppresses the free expression of others. This is a big problem as the patent office it frequently staffed by non-technical people and to them...everything seems like magic. They lack the expertise to say...this would have been invented otherwise. In a world with too many patents or too few, I would prefer the latter. I believe the problem is far more systemic than what people believe...randomly point to anything man-made around you and you'll probably be pointing at a lot of government patents. Such a level of monopoly has a serious consequence on the economy. Too often the case, inventions are the product of certain types of materials becoming available and affordable at the right time and frequently you have inventors in disconnected parts of the world working on the same invention (the airplane is a great example). Truly the airplane patents crippled the air industry in the US, while Europe (which didn't recognize the American patents (rightly so) easily outpaced the US in early aeronautic technology.
Many voices have been very critical of patents as a concept (among them Libertarians Harry Browne and Thomas Jefferson...the first patent office administrator). There are even organizations like http://endsoftpatents.org/ that have made this a key issue (very big anti-patent movement in the software industry) and would be curious to know where Ron Paul stood on this.