Re: Things have taken an even more dangerous turn in recent years.
"Of course we must remember that the original reason for patent law... was to limit trade to the detriment of the people within the nation that the patent was granted."
AFAIK, this was not the original purpose.
From what I have read, the reason for patents was to encourage the disclosure of new ideas while protecting the person who came up with the idea.
In order to get a patent, the idea must be published with detailed descriptions of how it works. The knowledge is therefore spread, while the patent holder is able to monetise their idea through the protection of the patent. Anyone can then use the idea in the patent to develop it further, or encorporate it in another idea, hence advancing human knowledge, but they must negotiate with the original patent holder to actually use it.
In a world without patents, any new idea would be produced as a black box, or would be copied as soon as it was released. Human advancement would be held back because either knowledge would not be spread or many people would not bother to develop as they would not be able to make money from it.
The bad part in patents, IMHO, is that companies can own them and trade them. Also people do not have to use them. I believe all patents should have to be held by the individual who had the idea, they should not be traded (licensing is fine), and there should be an invalidation on non-use within a certain timeframe.