It is conventional wisdom that the patent system is designed to undergrid the investment in pushing technology forward. The patent system is innovation-oriented. And (sic) it functions most effectively in the expensive, breakthrough technologies, where uncertainties of success or payback abound. If, in assessing the risk of commitment, the penalties of failure outweigh the prizes of success, the prudent money will go elsewhere. The patent system moves the equation to the right, not by better assuring success (for only public needs and market values can do that), but by aiding success through offering the innovator a temporary respite from non-innovative copying. However faulted and flawed our system might be, only the most compelling legal logic should deny this country its benefits in a nascent technology full of promise for so much good.
Jane M. Marciniszyn, What Has Happened Since Chakrabarty, 2 J.L. & Health 141 (1987-1988)