Is the "valuable intellectual property" being built into SDDs simply a load of firmware fixing to make the things usable by current and historical operating systems by pretending to be disks? Or is there stuff in there which really does require the sort of realtime or other intense attention that a general purpose operating system can't efficiently provide?
If the former, how about some hardware person designs a fully open PCIX board populated with a load of flash memory and appropriate (minimalist) interfaces? I'm not a hardware engineer, but I suspect that such a board might be quite a simple thing to design. Then implement all the code for using it as a storage device in linux drivers, kernel and filesystems. Could such a thing end up outperforming even the best SDD manufacturers' firmware? And might some genuinely key bit of intellectual property end up being invented here first, and GPLed?