> Jpeg and mpeg
Nonsense. Patents might have funded R&D in one building, but those patents blocked R&D in every other building.
In the 90s, everyone was after image and video compression, there were piles of people working on it, or wanting to work on it. Studies show that software patents caused money to be diverted *away* from R&D (toward patent defence, defensive acquisition etc.).
And if you want to fund researchers, just abolish software patents and suddenly you free up a few billion in application fees, maintenance fees, freedom to operate search fees, defence costs, out of court settlements, licensing fees...