I found these quite interesting since they are research, and research always trumps speculations.
A summary of some studies: from here
. An extensive empirical literature study indicates that returns from innovation are appropriated primarily via mechanisms other than formal intellectual property rights and that “imitation” is itself a costly activity
.2006 Pollock, Rufus “Innovation and Imitation with and without Intellectual Property Rights, MPRA Paper No. 5025 http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/5025 In a series of experiments, we used the knapsack problem (in which participants have to determine the most valuable subset of objects that can fit in a knapsack of fixed volume) as a typical representation of intellectual discovery problems. We found that our “markets system” performed better than the patent system.Debrah Meloso, Peter Bossaerts, Jernej Copic, “Promoting Intellectual Discovery: Patents versus markets” Science, Vol. 323. no. 5919, pp. 1335 – 1339, DOI: 10.1126/science.1158624. Initial data generated using The Patent Game suggest that a system combining patent and open source protection for inventions (that is, similar to modern patent systems) generates significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and societal utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. These data also indicate that there is no statistical difference in innovation, productivity, or societal utility between a pure patent system and a system combining patent and open source protection.Torrance, Andrew W. and Tomlinson, Bill, Patents and the Regress of Useful Arts (May, 28 2009). Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, Vol. 10, 2009. We find evidence for a modest anti-commons effect (the citation rate after the patent grant declines by between 9 and 17%).Fiona Murray, Scott Stern, “Do Formal Intellectual Property Rights Hinder the Free Flow of Scientific Knowledge? An Empirical Test of the Anti-Commons Hypothesis”, NBER Working Paper No. 11465*Issued in July 2005 NBER Program(s)