@blackcat, you are so wrong about so much
"Without patents we would not have the constant competition between Intel and AMD, nVidia and ATI, Google and Apple, oh how the list goes on."
That is absolutely wrong and you are being totally fooled by the two faced rhetoric of the control freaks who want patents. The constant competition between companies is for the billions they earn for gaining as much market share as possible. That remains true in a world without patents, because the competition would actually speed up to stay ahead, not slows down as it can with patents.
blackcat you are blindly repeating the patent control freaks rhetoric. They want control. They want to control competitors. Its all about an endless need to control with them and with control that slows down progress because that is what control all about, the ability to stop people. It holds back competitors from using similar improvements. If we lived in a world without patents that would force companies to keep improving their designs to stay ahead of competitors or they go out of business as it should be.
But then anyone who secretly fears they cannot come up with better designs than competitors will back the need for patents. That is the typical two faced game of the passive aggressives in society, who have a hidden agenda in what they say.
We need a society that rewards improvements but doesn't allow companies to then sit back and stop improving as patents do. With patents they create something that prevents everyone using the same improvements for decades. We need to accelerate progress, not allow ways for huge corporations to hold progress back. This puts the design engineers centre stage of importance as it should be. Currently its the corporate lawyers who are centre stage as its all about their need to control and design engineers are sidelined. You can see that is true from their pay differences which shows who their corporate bosses really think are most important to their businesses. (Don't listen to the bosses lying two faced rhetoric about the importance of design engineers. Instead see what the bosses actions really show how they really think, which proves their real priorities are not design engineers).
The two faced rhetoric of the control freak bosses is that they always want control to do this, that and the other. It is a relentless lie born out of their need to control competitors because they ultimately fear they cannot out design their competitors. They fear they cannot come up with better designs. In such a world without patents, the designers become more important as it should be, as the need to stay ahead becomes more important and so that drives changes ahead faster. So I stand by what I said, the bullshit of the current broken patent system shows its lost sight of engineering used to be about the craftsmanship of artisans and the importance of good design. :(