Are patents a hindrance or a booster of innovation?

edited August 2018 in Innovation
So every industry will have patents, but as I see it, cosmetic patents are a class of their own.
Cosmetic ingredient suppliers take out patents (or apply so it is no longer "novel") on cosmetics using their products (to prevent market shrinkage if someone were to patent it after the fact).
Patents are granted usually out for specific/narrow formulations and most patents can thus be circumvented with relatively minor modifications.

Then the other day I found this patent for a baby shampoo/shower gel

While reading through it I was amazed by how broad the patent actually is and perplexed of why it was granted and certain that if push came to shove, the patent wouldn't hold up in court.

Regardless of validity, it got me wondering (as the title clearly gives away) - What do you guys think, is it hindering or boosting innovation?

Edit: Spelling mistake.
Dabbling Formulator — Qualified Cosmetic Safety Assessor — experienced in claim substantiation & EU regulatory affairs.
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