Here is an insightful chronology of how much the patent system benefited the country up until the last several decades. The system is now too cumbersome and costly such that 95% (Walker's data) of inventions are not available to small and medium size businesses. Only the mega corporations have the human, financial and technological resources to fully utilize the system. A study is cited stating that liberating the patent system from litigation-based costs and risks would create $200B/yr in increased economic output.
Although Hall & Hinkelman (2015) in the Patent Primer 3.0 boast of Intellectual Property, mainly patents, as one of "the great equalizers of our lifetime", not all companies who use patents are equally able to capitalize on them.