On one side of the fence, I like patents - it protects important intellectual property - but on the other hand, it can really hold back essential building blocks for our future.
Well, one would think that the space venture from entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX, would hold tonnes of patents. The answer is a flat 'no'. During an interview with Chris Anderson at Wired, Musk was quoted:
We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China. If we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.
We might see SpaceX adopt patents in the future, but for now they're just holding their special eleven herbs and spices as trade secrets.