The idea of the patent system was that anyone could patent their grand idea and then have legal backing to protect it in court from someone that uses the idea without consent. The filing fees were also designed to be low to keep the barrier of entry low enough that "the little guy" could get the same protection as the big corporations.
This is completely false. Patents were never about the "little guy". Their purpose is to benefit society by providing an advantage to disclosing the secrets of invention so society can learn. Prior to patents, technology was often a closely guarded secret, belonging to individuals or trade guilds, secrets that were often lost with the deaths of the people involved. By making disclosure a more attractive option than secrecy, society could benefit by learning from the details of the inventions.
That is the idea of the patent system. "Little guy" doesn't mean shit, all that matters is having useful knowledge disclosed to society, whether its individuals or mega-corps.