It all depends on the field. I would argue that protecting IP in some areas is more important than releasing the invention into the wild. Have a look at an example from International SAE Consortium:
The Consortium undertakes to proactively make intellectual property filings to reduce the likelihood that use of it’s public data will be encumbered by “follow-on patents” filed by other parties (commercial or otherwise). The Consortium has determined the most effective way to ensure that its public data is securely placed in the public domain (with the earliest available priority date) is to file provisional patent applications covering all novel discoveries made prior to the filing, and to include claims directed toward these data (including genetic markers and genotype/haplotype-phenotype associations).
Have also look at BiOS and their patent licensing policy.