If there is one thing that Republicans and Democrats agree on wholeheartedly, if not in public then if private over drinks, it is that free markets are a terrible thing and should be avoided at all costs. Yeah, I know, Republicans sing hymns to free markets and Democrats routinely praise them, but the truth is, everybody hates them. And with good reason. Free markets are disruptive. They routinely destroy entire industries and they are ruthlessly efficient at it. Remember film cameras? Record players? Tape decks? VCRs? Pay phones? Tube TVs? Soon you can add landline phones and desktop computers to the list. But that's just products. Free markets destroy whole industries. In this country alone: the furniture, clothing, shoes, appliances, automobiles, tools, electronics, and steel industries have all but vanished. So both parties turn to government for legal monopolies that can't be readily overturned by free markets. And government is only too happy to oblige. From the ridiculous anti-trust exemption enjoyed by major league baseball to the no-competitive-bids relationship between Congress and the defense industry, to broad protection for patents, copyrights and trademarks, to bank bailouts and to Obamacare's sloppy kisses to the insurance and healthcare industries. government is constantly trying to erect sea walls against the free market tsunami. Given how much we try to strangle them, it's a miracle that free markets continue to do what they do so well: innovate and drive down prices.
Building a better mouse trap is free enterprise. Those companies that couldn't compete for one reason or the other was doomed to fail. They had thier heads in the sand and were sleeping at their post.. The turtle has beaten the hare. I agree that patents aren't worth a thing if the legal system refuses to protect them. Think of AAPL and Samsung as a case in point.