Originally Posted by pdurrant
But (having read to the end of the thread) I suspect you'll suggest that's merely a utilitarian reason.
Yes, that's correct.
The argument, of course, in favour of granting IPRs is that it has the social benefit of encouraging creativity sooner rather than later; and that this outweighs the social cost of limiting the use of the results of that creativity.
I don't know whether either half of the equation is correct, but it is clearly a utilitarian argument rather than an ethical one.