Here's a novel concept: do completely away with patent protection. Let me explain before you gasp in horror:
Patent protection's original intent was to protect the inventor from those with possibly greater financial resources who would capitalize on the invention without fair compensation to the inventor.
Nowadays, since the process of patenting is so cumbersome, time- and money- intensive, the big players are the only ones who really bother with patents, so they now wind up protecting big corporate interests more than those of a small inventor working independently. This turns the patent model on its head, effectively, so maybe it's time to move beyond that into an era where information is shared more openly and with less focus on monetizing human knowledge and more on contributing to and increasing that knowledge.
Just my two shekels worth. Think of what would have happened had Linux been patented, copy-protected, copyrighted, etc... where would it be now, and where would we be?