A small but vocal number of entrepreneurs have asserted they do not need to patent their ideas and inventions, contending that ideas are universal and can't really be registered as any one person's property. However, as Entrepreneur magazine points out, despite the universal nature of ideas, their research, development and creation are the work of individuals.
Entrepreneurs themselves differ in how they perceive patents. In some industries that depend heavily on intellectual property protection, such as electronics manufacturing and life sciences, getting a patent on each new innovation is accepted as a matter of course. This is likely due at least in part to training scientists receive; in academia, patents and other intellectual property protections are very important.
In a Wall Street Journal panel discussion among entrepreneurs, most agreed it was important to have one's intellectual property managed and organized. The overwhelming consensus was that patent assertion entities aren't limited to a single field, and entrepreneurs need to have protection against them as well as against accusations of infringement upon the rights of other entities.
In a market that is often said to run on ideas, one Wall Street Journal compared patents to a knight's armor. It allows the knight - in this case the essential idea - to go about his business protected from harm.