I felt I could have patented some of my ideas as well, yet couldn’t afford it. When the Star Wars program appeared I thought of applying the electro-magnetic smart-pebbles kind of thing to automobiles and engineless cars and sent the idea to N.I.S.T. to apply for a grant to patent my thought and they wrote back saying that I wanted to develop a concept rather than patent a ready to go concept. The wheel motor configuration did have many possibilities with electro-magnetics pushing and pulling it around.
Volvo developed the idea perhaps first a few years later. Of course the idea was used for weapons to from the pistol by an Australian inventor to naval artillery.
When an idea is released to the public and can be produced by anybody their is competition to sell a product at the best profit and the lowest price/mass production element enters in. Elon Musk released his hyper-tube concept for anyone to build- a paradigm I wrote about in a short story named ‘Vank Island’ a decade earlier with an electro-magnetic powered module moving through a tube from Alaska to Europe.
People have mentioned that releasing patent exclusivity quicker allows faster social implementation of ideas. Consider the Gillette shaving foam from a can that is self-heating. It is a brilliant product that has been suppressed since the 1970s when it first appeared because it is better than anything else. If the patent had expired after 3 years it would be used in about every can of shave cream and Gillette would be stuffed with wealth more than it is as every producer sent them 5% in perpetuity (or maybe a half century).
Since I discovered the impossibility of patenting and producing an idea in the U.S.A. I have stopped trying to invent anything, and if I have a new idea I drop it into a short story, novel or article online because after three years from publication nit cannot be patented and anyone could use it.