My posiiton is that I favour patents. But, the patent process is too complex, too detailed, and it makes it unwieldy.
There are probably too many, but thats more due to patents having a long lifespan. Smart devices are such that a patent needs not have a life of 20 years, more like 3 years or so. That rewards trhe innovator in terms of a 6 month head start on competitors and licensing for a 2 to 3 seasons after that. Make a not so long list of rules, simplify the process to lay a patent and to define it, that will make it much more black and white than what we have now.
We will have to agree to disagree. I think that smart devices need patents just as much as anything if the patent deserve to be awarded in the first place. The problem is with things that should not be patentable in the first place been given patents.
When you can patent how a device looks or how a user interacts with a device or the fact that a search function searches local sources as well as remote sources, I don't think it's a realistic goal to reduce the number of patents by simplifying the process or further defining the patent to make it much more black and white.
So your main issue is what should be patented and what should not be?