A recent study found out that 1/5th of all research papers are being abandoned because of conflicts with patent holders. One of the slashdot readers asked why. There was this remarkable answer, which was different than other normal economics drenched answers. We have them because the average American wants to believe in a world where he/she can one day strike it rich by inventing some widely used product. The problem is, the patent system doesn’t really work that way, no matter how much patent supporters pretend it protects powerless inventors.