George Washington Carver gave all of his peanut inventions, as well as others, to the world at large. No patents for him.
And of course open source Linux has produced quite a few operating systems and numerous applications. When you deleted Microsoft office from your new computer in favor of Open Office, instead of paying the licensing free, you benefitted from someone else's hard work.
I used to think that I had a life goal of getting a patent in my name. Now I just want to come up with something that I can give to the world for free.