This from another thread (according to PF's rules, the quoted part belongs in that thread, but the follow-on part belongs in its own, separate thread): So: mheslep, yours is a very good reminder that market economies will render whatever new technologies at least as expensive as any technologies currently on the market, unless the availability of those technologies are rendered public, vs proprietary (patented). I'm sorry to break the news, folks, but while the patent system does protect investors, it also hampers progress.[/quote] Let's consider the following hypothetical (but not far from the truth) situation: Company A receives 50% of its income from government projects, but a full 25% of its income from patents based upon research obtained during those government projects simply fills its private coffers. They call it a "bonus" while the government (aka the taxpayers) relenquishes any and all patent rights and income to be derived thereof. Fair? Not to me, particularly when patent rights are almost always compounded, thereby filling private coffers to the tune of trillions while taxpayers continue to foot the bill for the same. Up for discussion. There's got to be a better way, folks. A way to protect intellectual rights while preserving the rights of those of us who've paid, often massively, for the results of the research they've produced.