For years, we (and certainly plenty of other people) have pointed out that monopolies, like patents and copyrights, don't drive innovation -- competition does. In fact, having monopolies does the opposite of driving innovation, since the monopolists have fewer reasons to innovate and upgrade since they're not fighting against competitors. This point is made quite clear in an admission by Mike Beltzner, the director of Firefox at Mozilla, in an article at Slate discussing how much browsers have been innovating lately
"Were there not other competitors who were just as interested in making Web browsers faster, I don't know if we'd be able to find the gains that we can find," he said. "Now it's a game of one-upping each other."
Imagine if instead of thinking that way, the concept of a browser had been patented way back when? Does anyone honestly think that we'd have as innovative a web world as we do today?