Patents can not be on something that is a processHuh? The whole problem with the patent system today is that patents are _not_ awarded solely to processes. The fact that you can have a half-baked idea, patent it, and then use that patent as an anti-competitive and anti-progress measure is exactly why we have all these problems!
The worst part is that society gains nothing from such patents. The intent of patents was to encourage publication of ideas so they would not be lost, in exchange for protecting the inventor so he is free to commercialize his idea. A patented idea with no associated method adds nothing to society, and is only usable by the patent holder as a lottery ticket; hoping someone else will show up and create a successful business using similar ideas, so he can sue for damages, having created no wealth and made no useful contribution to society through that patent.