The patent system worked well when applied to real inventions? Really? Its effect on the aviation industry, the light bulb and even the steam train was pretty much 100% negative: the nations with the strongest patent protection lost out and everyone else raced forward. The people with the patents got a large slice of a much smaller cake than would otherwise have existed.
But of course now we have a global patent system via bilateral agreements so of course that problem can't exist anymore: now *everyone* is crippled. Go us!