Bringing a new invention to market is normally a costly and risky process, and will not occur if a company cannot be certain that others will not be able to copy the innovation and compete against them.  A patent allows a company the time to recoup the costs associated with design, development and marketing of the innovation.
Therefore, as an inventor interested in seeing your innovation be brought into the public domain it is essential that it is given the proper protection. A successfully filed patent can represent a great deal of financial and social value.