Re: Point taken...
"...but we must remember the original reason for the patent system in the first place."
But at this point, how does that help us apart from giving people a reason to justify having a patent system and uphold the status quo? Which doesn't really help us, of course.
Reminding people of the supposed original reason for patents, which probably isn't quite what you're claiming, is a bit like someone reminding people what Jesus stood for during the Inquisition.
"Because without the ability to protect against copycats, inventors wouldn't have the motivation to invent."
*Some* inventors wouldn't have the motivation. Others would just get on and do it anyway.
"The last thing an inventor wants is to pour their heart, soul, and life savings into something truly special...only for someone else to take one of the new items in question, take it apart to learn how it's made, and then go ahead and build their own copy (without all the R&D expense)."
No, the last thing they want is to put in all the effort, get a patent, and then be told that their hard work will never see the light of day in a product because an existing producer has a bunch of patents which apply to their work. And then see everyone copy it after they've agreed to a pretty unsatisfactory "cross-licensing" agreement.